Kane Crichlow relishing opportunity to make Bermuda debut
Kane Crichlow is relishing his Bermuda debut after being called up to the men’s senior squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The Watford forward is in line to be gain his first international cap after being included in Kyle Lightbourne’s squad ahead of facing Canada at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, on March 25.
Having turned down the opportunity to represent his country in the past, the 20-year-old now feels ready to make his mark on the international stage, starting with the prospect of causing a major upset against one of the region’s powerhouses.
“I am absolutely delighted to be called up to the Bermuda squad,” Crichlow said to The Royal Gazette. “I got the phone call to ask if I would be interested in representing Bermuda and, without hesitation, I said of course I would.
“There had been conversations in the past about me representing the country, but at that time I didn’t feel like I was ready. I had only just arrived at Watford and I wanted to try and establish myself and settle at the club a bit first.
“The thought of knowing I could make my debut this month is a really exciting prospect. I just can’t wait to have that opportunity and the whole experience of being part of the national squad.
“Canada are obviously one of the top opponents in our region, but I genuinely feel like on our day we can give them a tough test and even come away with a positive result.”
Crichlow will be one of few overseas-based players in the squad as Covid-19 and Fifa restrictions look set to prevent Lightbourne from including some key personnel, including talisman Nahki Wells.
While he acknowledges the obvious void left by the absence of senior players such as the Bristol City forward, Crichlow also is well aware that the circumstances can offer an opportunity to players such as himself to stake their claim.
“We still don’t know who will be able to be involved and obviously as a nation you always want your best players like Nahki [Wells] to be in the team,” he added.
“However, if he and other senior players aren’t available, then it could be seen as a big opportunity for some of the new players involved.
“For me it’s a chance to show Kyle [Lightbourne] what I am capable of and in a strange way I don’t feel under any real pressure. It’s just the way I am; I don’t really feel pressure.
“I know I have enough ability to be part of the squad and so it is just a case of showing what I can do if I’m given the chance.
“I was born and raised in Bermuda and I know it will make a lot of people really proud to see me represent the country.”
Since arriving at Vicarage Road from AFC Wimbledon in 2019, the forward has endured mixed fortunes. He has enjoyed highlights such as his professional debut against Newport County in the Carabao Cup last year, while also having his progression curtailed by suffering a broken ankle during first-team training.
Despite being included in first-team squads under previous manager Vladimir Ivic and his replacement, Xisco, Crichlow is still awaiting to be handed his first competitive action in the Sky Bet Championship.
However, he is aware of importance of patience with the club aiming to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt, as well as the opportunity to catch the eye of his manager while away on international duty.
“Everything has been going OK but it has been a bit of an up and down,” he said. “I’ve managed to get myself on the bench quite a bit and obviously made my debut in the cup; I’m just waiting for that chance in the league now.
“Obviously, with the club pushing for promotion it is hard for a manager to trust the younger players and so it can be difficult for us to break into the team, especially with them doing so well.
“All I can do is keep working hard and show I deserve to earn the right to be given a chance.
“Going away with Bermuda and possibly playing in a World Cup qualifier can only be a positive thing for me personally. It’s another step up and a big test and hopefully I can show the club and coaches that I can handle that and impress them further.”