Lambe: Nations League can be huge for Bermuda
Reggie Lambe, the Bermuda captain, believes that the Concacaf Nations League is a tremendous incentive for players to get involved with the national football programme.
Bermuda will face Sint Maarten and El Salvador at home and play away matches against Aruba and Dominican Republic this year to determine the groups for the inaugural Concacaf Nations League next year.
They will open their qualifying campaign away to Aruba in September before facing Sint Maarten and El Salvador at home, in October and November. Bermuda will close out the group stage with an away tie against Dominican Republic next March.
“This is what the national team needs, constant games, because we have good players but a lot of them get discouraged when we only play one or two games a year,” Lambe said.
“This will definitely get players wanting to come out for Bermuda and the fact that we already have the dates is even better to know who will be available in advance as to international players such as myself.
“Players either have other commitments or just can’t make it through work, so to have set dates for games is what we need to prepare correctly and efficiently and make sure that we have the best squad possible to give us the biggest chance for success.”
All matches will be played during Fifa international dates and will determine the composition of the three divisions for Nations League, which starts in September 2019. The qualifying results will be compiled into an aggregate table, ranking the participating teams from 1 to 34 based on points earned, goal difference and a series of additional tie-breakers.
The table will be used to divide teams into Leagues A, B and C for the first full edition of the Nations League.
The top six teams will join the six World Cup Qualifying Hexagonal Round participants in League A, the next 16 teams will qualify for League B, and the remaining teams will be assigned to League C.
The top ten finishers in the final table will also join the six World Cup Hexagonal Round nations in the 2019 Gold Cup, which has recently been expanded to 16 teams.
Meanwhile, Bermuda are scheduled to play friendly matches against Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados in the Caribbean this month.
Bermuda, coached by Kyle Lightbourne, will play Antigua and Barbuda on March 21 before facing Barbados on March 25
Bermuda squandered a 2-0 lead in 3-2 home defeat to Barbados in their previous outing at the National Stadium last October.
Lambe, who plays for Sky Bet League Two side Carlisle United, hopes to appear in this month’s friendlies but has yet to be granted clearance by his club.
“I’ve already told the manager [Keith Curle] that I want to play every game and he knows I’m skipper,” Lambe said.