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Depleted Zebras wary of Trojans

Missing players: Scott Morton, the PHC coach

PHC Zebras could be without several key players for their Dudley Eve Trophy semi-final against Somerset Trojans at Goose Gosling Field tonight.

Cecoy Robinson, the Zebras captain, is in Scotland taking the Uefa B Licence coaching course, Marco Warren is injured and Rakeem DeShields is serving a suspension. Tre Ming is also a doubt after picking up a knock against Robin Hood in the Premier Division last weekend.

PHC, the five-times winners of the competition, which was played as the Martonmere Cup up until 2009, may hand opportunities to some of their younger players.

“It just gives an opportunity for other people to step up and show what they have been doing in training,” PHC coach Scott Morton said. “We have enough players who are training regularly, especially under-17 players. The young players have learnt from the senior guys and we have supported them, not just thrown them out there to the wolves.

“We have picked the moments that they play and for how many minutes, which was explained to them from day one.”

PHC are eyeing a fourth successive appearance in the final, after beating Hood in 2015 and then losing to Devonshire Cougars the next year before winning again against the same opponents last season.

“It’s a huge honour but deserving at the same time when looking at the work that the team has put in to get us to this point,” Morton added. “For us, we just need to use those types of things as continuous motivation for every match. That’s how we take every match; no team is different and nothing changes for us.”

Morton is still deciding who will captain the team in the absence of Robinson. DeShields, who captained the team last weekend, is required to serve a one-match ban after picking up a yellow card against Hood.

Somerset are in a slump and bottom of the Premier Division table, having not won a match since September 3 when they beat Cougars in a Dudley Eve Trophy group match. However, Morton is well aware that the seven-times competition winners have a proud cup tradition.

“At any given time a team can turn it on, so we have to stay focused and recognise that DNA is still in Somerset,” he said. “It just needs to be brought out and, at some point, it will come back out.

“We wish for every team to bring their A game against us. That’s only going to make players grow and help Bermuda football develop.”

In tonight’s opening semi-final Hood face North Village at 7pm at Goose Gosling Field.

Village have won the competition ten times, more than any other side, after reaching five straight finals between 2008 and 2012 when they won two and lost three.