Danté Leverock aiming to shape future football stars
Danté Leverock is aiming to help shape Bermuda’s future football players with the creation of his DaRock Elite Performance academy.
Having returned to the island after playing professionally overseas in countries such as the United States, Ireland, England, Poland and Estonia, the Bermuda captain believes he is perfectly placed to pass on his experiences to any budding local players.
Turning his attention to coaching, the 28-year-old is offering a tailored service to individuals as well as taking training sessions with the Warwick Archers youth team.
“The important thing for me is that no two players are the same and so I want to offer specific programmes for the individual player, it’s never just a generalised programme,” he said.
“I worked under a lot of different coaches overseas and here in Bermuda and I’ve seen what is important to focus on. I’ve become obsessed with creating programmes and it’s become a passion. I want to help raise the level of players.”
As well as aiming to improve on-field performance, Leverock is adamant the mental aspects of the game are just as important, if not more so, to any player, particularly those with aspirations of going abroad whether at college level or professionally.
“One of the major parts of my programme is to get across the importance of the mental side of football,” added Leverock, who endured a turbulent spell while at Polish second-tier side Radomiak Radom, eventually severing ties with the club in February after suffering racial discrimination.
“I experienced difficult times abroad and it put me in uncomfortable positions. However, that’s important because I feel a major problem we have on island is that players get too comfortable.
“Some players get way too ahead of themselves here thinking they’ve achieved everything already. Those experiences abroad forced me to adapt my mentality and I had to prove a point.
“You almost have to show why you’re a special player all over again and that includes how you conduct yourself both on and off the field. I made mistakes in the past and you have to be able to reflect on what went wrong and not just blame others.”
Leverock believes local players having all the attributes to adapt and succeed overseas are especially important now, particularly with the increasing opportunities for Bermudian players to make their mark.
The recent emergence of young players such as Kane Critchlow and Ajani Burchall, both at Sky Bet Championship level with Watford and Bournemouth respectively have added to a strong overseas contingent, which includes Willie Clemons, Dale Eve, Milan Butterfield, Justin Donawa, D’Andre Wainwright, LeiLanni Nesbeth, Kenni Thompson, Aaliyah Nolan and talisman Nahki Wells.
“We are seeing a lot of local players going away and experiencing football overseas, which is really encouraging for Bermuda,” he said.
“It was amazing to see Ajani make his Bournemouth debut the other day and following on from a host of others to have opportunities of playing abroad.
“That is exactly what I want to see. As I get older I want to see these young players coming through and breaking through at some top teams.
“The important thing is that young players need to remember that it is all about dedication. Every day has to be devoted to the game and it is all about the small details. However, the future for Bermuda is certainly looking bright right now.”
• Anyone interested in learning more about DaRock Elite Performance sessions can e-mail Dante Leverock at email@example.com