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Smith to return against Jamaica

Jonté Smith is poised to resume his international career after making himself available for Bermuda's friendly against Jamaica in Montego Bay next week.

The Cheltenham Town striker has been out of Kyle Lightbourne's squad since making two substitute appearances during the Concacaf Gold Cup last summer.

Smith, 25, made himself unavailable for Bermuda's opening Concacaf Nations League home and away fixtures against Panama last September as the final details of his deal at Cheltenham were being finalised.

His club debut arrived on the same day as Bermuda's 2-0 win over Panama at the Rommel Fernández Stadium.

Smith is now looking forward to representing his country again against Jamaica.

“I missed quite a few games for the national team over the last six months,” Smith said. “However, it's nice to have a chance to meet up with the national team again and I'm sure the game time as a collective will help us going forward.”

Jamaica will host Bermuda at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on March 11.

The match will serve as ideal preparation for Bermuda's upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup qualifiers, as well as the resumption of the Nations League this year.

Bermuda reached the Gold Cup for the first time after finishing fifth in the competition's qualifiers and recorded an historic 2-0 win over Nicaragua at Red Bull Arena in Jersey.

They were relegated from League A of the Nations League in November last year after suffering a last-minute 2-1 defeat away to Mexico in the final group game.

Lightbourne's team will now face the winners between Bahamas and French Guiana in a home-and-away series in June for a place at the Gold Cup next year, to be held at a venue yet to be confirmed

Jamaica won promotion to the top tier of the Nations League after winning their group last November. They drew 1-1 against Guyana, beating Antigua and Barbuda 6-0 and Aruba 2-0.

Bermuda will likely be without some of their key players for the friendly as it falls outside of the international break, meaning professional clubs will not be obligated to release their players.

Michael Ricketts, the Jamaica Football Federation president, has confirmed that their squad will comprise local-based players.

Jamaica are ranked 48th in the world, 120 positions above Bermuda in 168th. Bermuda lost 3-2 to Jamaica in Kingston in a Caribbean Cup qualifier in the previous meeting between the two nations in 1997.

Meanwhile, Smith made his first appearance of the year for Cheltenham at the weekend in a 2-0 victory away to promotion rivals Colchester United.

The 25-year-old striker came on as a second-half substitute to complete his comeback from a throat infection.

“It was nice to be back in the squad after a long spell out,” he said. “Very happy to have played a part in getting the three points.

“It's been hard work getting back fit and I still have a little way to go.

“My match fitness is still a little lacking. However, hopefully I can get some good minutes into my system during the international trip to Jamaica.”

Bermuda forward Jonté Smith

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Published March 04, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated March 03, 2020 at 7:23 pm)

Smith to return against Jamaica

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