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Burchall still named on teamsheet, says Nusum

Hood’s players celebrate their Dudley Eve Trophy final win (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Robin Hood paid a heart-warming tribute to late team member Mazhye Burchall after clinching a maiden Dudley Eve Trophy title at the weekend.

Second-half goals from Tomiko Goater and Phillip Parsons guided Hood to a 2-0 win over Somerset Trojans in the final at Wellington Oval on Sunday, which has been dedicated to Burchall who died in a motorcycle crash in September.

“This was for Muzzy,” John Barry Nusum, the Hood coach, said. “This is the first trophy we’ve had since his passing and it’s definitely good for the players to win and dedicate it to Muzzy.

“It was heart-warming for the players and myself. It was something we wanted to do and to not do it would have been a letdown.”

Asked how the team has coped with their loss, Nusum said: “It’s been a process and a grieving period but we had guys on the team that were able to lift others during the difficult moments.

“Everyone has been feeding off each other and it’s brought the team together a little bit. It’s not a good thing to have a situation like that bring a team together, but it has made the guys realise we’re one unit.”

Nusum said Burchall’s memory is being honoured in various ways.

“We are playing the whole season in Muzzy’s memory and beyond, so he’s part of the group always,” he added.

“We have a banner with his picture that we carry with us to every game and still include his name on the teamsheet.

“A lot of times when we are in bad moments, as far as football goes, we relate to the good qualities Muzzy had as a player, like the hard work and tenacity, and try and motivate ourselves.

“If we are truly playing for him then we need to apply ourselves as he would, making sure each game we can carry out those qualities.”