Willie Clemons left to rue frustrating domestic campaign
Willie Clemons has conceded the past season with Dalkurd proved to be one of the toughest of his career.
Having signed for the club from fellow Swedish side Bodens in January, the Bermuda midfielder endured a frustrating campaign, culminating in Dalkurd dropping into the third tier after going down 3-1 to Landskrona Bois over a two-legged relegation play-off.
For a season that promised so much for the 26-year-old, having made the step up from the fourth tier of Swedish football, it ultimately failed to meet his expectations, with injuries restricting the midfielder to just 18 league appearances and hampering any real consistency on the field.
“Personally it was one of the most difficult seasons I’ve ever had for a number of reasons,” said Clemons, who managed a single goal in the Supertattan. “Obviously the results were not good enough and no one wants to get relegated, but I also missed quite a few games through injury.
“The most disappointing thing was in the later stages of the season, survival was still in our own hands but things just seemed to go against us.
“With anything I try to take some positives from the situation, and I guess I have to look at the season as a learning experience. I’ve had the chance to play at a higher level and when I did play I feel as if I proved I was good enough.
“However, I have to also reflect on the fact that overall it wasn’t my best season and I could have done more. It was a trying season on a personal level and I feel the injuries played a big part because I missed large portions of the campaign where I could have helped more.
“My consistency returned towards the end of the season but at this level there are less room for errors and we were punished in key areas. It was something the whole squad will learn from.”
Reflecting on his own position moving forward, Clemons hinted his future at the club would have to come under consideration, albeit at a later date.
“It’s far too early to look at my own future at the moment,” he added. Obviously everyone reflects on the situation after suffering relegation, but for me it is a case of seeing what is happening with the club itself and assess what my options are from there.
“Naturally, it is not ideal for any player to suffer relegation and the goal for anyone is to play at the highest level possible.
“However, I’ve enjoyed being at the club; there is a great group of players, staff and fans; it’s like a big family, really. I’m confident if I’m still with the club next season we have what it takes to bounce back straight away.”
Clemons is also taking the opportunity to consider his immediate international career, conceding the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic will play a major part in his availability for Bermuda’s upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Canada and Aruba in March.
“I think like most people my main priority at the moment is health and safety,” he added. “I love playing for Bermuda and representing my country but I think we all have to look at the safety issues right now.
“There are so many restrictions around travel right now and so I’m not even certain there will be an opportunity to move between nations safely.
“In an ideal world, I’d jump at the opportunity to get back and represent my country again but the priority right now has to be keeping everyone safe. Sadly right now, health has to come before football.”