White: Nordic region makes sense for Bermuda players
William White believes the increasing trend for local players to venture further afield in pursuit of their professional dreams can only benefit Bermudian football.
The 23-year-old has become the fourth Bermuda player to sign for a Nordic-Baltic region club this year after joining second division Finnish side Narpes Kraft last week.
The other Bermudians plying their trade in Northern Europe include Danté Leverock, who plays for Estonian Premier Division side Narva Trans, Willie Clemons at Swedish fourth-tier team Bodens, and Zeiko Lewis, who has moved to Icelandic top-flight side FH. Another player to have travelled to an atypical destination for Bermudian players is Djair Parfitt-Williams, who plays for top-flight Slovenian outfit Rudar Velenje.
“I've grown up and played with and against Danté, Willie, and Zeiko,” said White, who signed a contract on Friday. “It brings joy to all of us that we're playing at the next level.
“It helps with the national team a whole lot because we're playing every day at a higher level. Being able to bring our knowledge back to the national team is very important for our success.
“It's very important that we as individuals are trying to get at the highest level possible as players. The leagues we're playing in are excellent for getting us professional experience and being able to showcase our talents for the world to see.”
White, who has played locally for Somerset Trojans and Robin Hood, said signing professional terms was a “dream come true” and hoped to help Narpes Kraft secure promotion to the top flight this season.
The 6ft 4in defender has featured in two practice matches in preparation for the new campaign, which starts next month.
“Every young players' dream is to become a professional and players like Nahki [Wells], Khano [Smith], and Reggie [Lambe] have made that dream a closer reality to a lot of players in Bermuda,” White added.
“My main goal this season is to play and be a vital piece to the organisation, and hopefully battle for promotion to the top flight. The level is obviously higher than anywhere I've played before; it's actually a fairly good level.”
White has thanked his agent Dave Williamson and Paul Scope, who has helped several Bermudians play overseas, for their guidance in his football journey. “It's the realisation of a dream for sure,” said White, who attended the University of Alabama-Birmingham. “I was in a little disbelief at first because it's been a long time coming.”
White, who also had trials in Denmark before joining Narpes Kraft, said he was looking forward to being part of Bermuda's Nations League qualifying campaign this year.
“Playing for your country is always an honour and if the coaches believe I'm good enough to be selected then of course I'd love to be part of [the Nations League].”