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Marco Warren points to poor quality in calls for restructuring of league

One more: Marco Warren celebrates after scoring a brilliant goal for PHC on Sunday against St George's when he sprinted 25 yards from midfield to meet an Enrique Russell high ball into the box ahead of the advancing goalkeeper Freddy Hall before scoring the third goal in the 3-0 win (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

With Tuesday’s 12-0 humiliation of Southampton Rangers serving as reference, Marco Warren, the PHC Zebras midfielder has expressed concern with the standard of Bermuda’s domestic leagues and is calling for an overhaul of the structure.

Warren, who was a part of the demolition crew in Rangers’ mauling after helping himself to a goal, pointed to the lopsided results throughout the campaign as evidence that the quality is not where it needs to be and reasoned that the migration of talent requires a condensing of the domestic competitions.

“I’ve been making points for the last four or five years that I’ve been in this league that the league needs reform,” said Warren.

For the third time this season the Zebras scored double figures with the disparity between the top-four and bottom-three teams appearing to widen with the impact of departing players a potential contributor to the poor play from cellar-dwellers Rangers, who lost 17 players, as well as X-Roads and Somerset Eagles, who saw 16 and six players, respectively, walk out the door.

Robin Hood, who saw thirteen players depart, including Antwan Russell who went back to PHC, have brought some young players into the senior team and eked out a host of good results to lift themselves away from the relegation zone.

Still, it is a worrying situation for the Zebras captain, one of their most influential players this season and a strong candidate for most valuable player.

“I’m looking at the state of the league right now, you’re beating teams by twelve, eleven, seven and then the team that loses by eight goes and beats a team 5-0. It doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

Tuesday’s 12-0 result took PHC’s goal tally in the league to 75, which matches the number of goals Rangers have now conceded in 17 games. League-leaders Dandy Town have scored 47 goals from the same amount of matches.

“The structure that is here right now is tailor-made for an era that is not here any more,” Warren added.

“Our better players are going away for opportunities, development, and it is hurting the league.

“We have to create a league with a different format that suits what we have right now. If we don’t do that then we are going to see more games like this, guaranteed.”

The Premier Division will return to ten teams next season but Warren suggests reducing the number of clubs in the two divisions from its combined total number of 20 to create a single division.

“Cut the number of teams from 20 right now to at least twelve, ten at the very most, and then build from there,” Warren said. “But it doesn’t have to stay like that for an eternity, it is just so that we can build on what we have.”

“It needs a complete reconstruction. If we are going to change the format to something that looks different with the same amount of teams it is going to be the same result.

“We don’t have the talent to match the amount of teams in the league.”

In their opening game of the season, PHC beat Robin Hood 5-0, with Hood responding the next weekend with a 9-0 thrashing of Southampton Rangers.

Rangers started the new year off with 5-0 and 8-1 home losses to Dandy Town and St George’s as a string of bad results continued.

Now Rangers are on the verge of being relegated along with Somerset Eagles with whom they were promoted in 2018-19.

“These are pee-wee scores, but we’re playing against grown men and there is no pride and no loyalty,” Warren added.

“Back in the day guys from Somerset played for Somerset teams and guys from St George’s played for St George’s.

“Now we have guys from all over the island playing for different teams. There is no loyalty any more.”

Dwayne Adams, an outstanding goalkeeper with North Village and Bermuda, was bombarded by constant PHC raids on his Rangers goal during Tuesday’s match and could do little to stop the eight first-half goals that he conceded.

A shortage of players forced Adams, who is in his first year as Rangers’ coach, to come out of retirement to try to help the team, but it was always going to be a big task to avoid relegation with the depleted squad.

“We’re just trying to do what we started, we came to play a season of football and we’ll try to get through it as a team,” said Adams, whose team conceded the match in the 71st minute after defender Ralston Wright suffered a head injury and they had no substitutes to call on.

“By conceding it meant that we didn’t do what we came out here to do.

“We played this game and will make up our numbers to make sure we play the next game and will do the same thing until we finish.

“This was a team that are second in the table and we’re not at our best. Last week we had a full-strength team and took them to the end. They played for the badge.”

• The match report incorrectly credited Enrique Russell’s third goal in the 29th minute to Antwan Russell, which means that both Russells scored a hat-trick in the win over Southampton Rangers.

Enrique also scored in the eighth and 24th minutes while Antwan netted goals in the thirteenth, 45th and 62nd minutes.

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Published March 26, 2022 at 7:22 am (Updated March 26, 2022 at 7:22 am)

Marco Warren points to poor quality in calls for restructuring of league

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