Shaun Goater applauds coaches at ore of Bermuda’s talent ʽgoldmine’
Shaun Goater reckons Bermuda has plentiful football talent at the grassroots level, which is receiving quality coaching and which, if properly harnessed and nurtured, can aspire to the professional ranks abroad.
“I have always felt Bermuda is a goldmine for talent and I have to take my hats off to the all of the Bermuda coaches like Andrew Bascome, David Bascome, Kenny Thompson, Maceo Dill, Richard Todd and John Barry Nusum,” said Goater, who scored 84 goals in 184 appearances for City.
The former North Village and Bermuda forward attributes the increasing number of locals following in his footsteps and breaking into the English game to the sound technical and tactical advice they are receiving from their youth-team coaches at their respective clubs on island.
“For me, in terms of development, we have coaches that do offer that quality of developing a kid up to that age of 12 and 13, and then it’s that next level where you start to think of the game from a professional view,” Goater added.
“All these coaches are playing a part in forming players to a level where it is attractive enough for people to start seeing them in England.
“I think that needs to be recognised and applauded, and all these coaches need that recognition that they are giving good information.”
Among the many promising Bermudians that Goater is delighted to see making positive strides in their development in England is Ajani Burchall, the Bournemouth academy player.
The former Village and Bermuda Under-15 winger is fresh off an historic debut for Bournemouth.
Aged 16 years and 37 days, Burchall became the youngest Bermudian, and third-youngest Bournemouth player, to appear in the English Football League after coming on as a late substitute in his team’s 5-0 victory over Huddersfield Town in the Sky Bet Championship at the Vitality Stadium on December 12.
“He’s made everyone on the island proud and there’s others that are out there that are flying the flag, so it’s really good right now the development that’s coming through,” Goater said.
The former City player is among those who have offered their advice to young Burchall.
“I just want him to know that you are good enough because we come from Bermuda and sometimes we think we are not good enough because we come from a small island,” Goater said.
“He is a humble kid and that goes along way. Another kid can come here and have the ability but can think he’s better than he is. If I pass that information on to that type of kid, that doesn’t go anywhere because people will see that attitude and see that he thinks he is better than what he is, rather than like somebody who knows they can improve and wants to improve one, and is willing to listen to improve.
“Those are the qualities that Ajani has and he has always had a good circle around him. Ajani’s circle, in terms of being able to speak to and get advice, would be from myself, Nahki Wells, Jonté Smith and Reggie Lambe.
“These are all guys from Bermuda, so culturally we all understand and have also been through it, so his circle is forming really well.
“That’s just that Bermuda circle and his father [Shennon Burchall] does a brilliant job to keep that connection there, so he is getting good advice and also keeping him grounded.”