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Lightbourne hoping for warm-up games

Massive win: Lejuan Simmons points to the fans as Cecoy Robinson, front, and Osagi Bascome celebrate Bermuda's 1-0 win at home to El Salvador last week

Bermuda could play a series of warm-up matches before their crucial Concacaf Nations League final qualifier away to the Dominican Republic in March.

Bermuda Football Association executives will meet this week, with the topic of friendly games among several items up for discussion.

“It would be nice to have two practice games against similar opposition [to Dominican Republic],” Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda coach, said.

“These games are very important because it would give us an opportunity to try different things without the result being the be-all and end-all. They would enable us to try a few things we may need to use in our last game against the Dominican Republic and also keep the team active. Some of the players that haven’t had minutes.

“We are due to have a debriefing of the El Salvador match within the next day or two, and then we will know more about where we are headed.

“We’re going to put forward what we think is right and cover all the basics.

“Once we go over everything, we will be able to come up with a plan and then put it towards the people who make the final decision.”

Bermuda’s dream of competing at the Gold Cup next year in the United States received a boost after Nahki Wells’s winner earned the island a 1-0 victory over El Salvador at the National Stadium last week.

Bermuda are seventh in the standings and in a strong position with two wins from three games. The top ten teams advance to the Gold Cup, a competition Bermuda has never previously reached.

Lightbourne had a chance to scout his team’s next opponents when Bermuda played their opening qualifier against Aruba in Curaçao in September.

“I watched the first half of their first game against Bonaire, which they won 5-0, because they played their match right before us,” Lightbourne said.

“They have some good players, but, like every team, they have their strengths and their weaknesses. It’s a long build-up for it, so we are going to prepare in the right way.”

Wells has confirmed he will be available for the match against the Dominican Republic, who are ninth in the standings, level on six points with Bermuda.

“It’s important we have our best players for that game,” Lightbourne added. “Nahki has made himself available, so that’s a big plus for us.”