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Naquita Robinson calls for ‘sea of pink’ to send Bermuda off on a high

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Final preparations: Bermuda coach Naquita Robinson gets her message across to her squad ahead of their final Concacaf Women’s Championship qualifying group match against Grenada

History will be made when Bermuda take on with Grenada in their final Concacaf Women’s Championship qualifying group match at the Flora Duffy Stadium tonight.

“This is our first women’s home match in a Concacaf tournament, so everybody is eager,” Naquita Robinson, the Bermuda coach, told The Royal Gazette yesterday.

“They are completely up for it and ready to get on the field and perform for the home crowd.”

The only time the island has hosted a Concacaf senior women’s match has been at the under-20 level.

Bermuda will be aiming to end the group stage on a positive note having been eliminated from the tournament after suffering a 1-0 defeat by the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo in their penultimate group C match last Friday.

Bermuda women's team coach Naquita Robinson

Vanessa Kara, the Dominican Republic captain, scored the winner from a 20-yard free kick in the 87th minute to condemn Bermuda to their second loss of the tournament, having gone down 4-0 to Jamaica in their opening match.

“We want to end the campaign on a high with three points and a good showing for the local fanbase,” Robinson added.

“We are speaking to the players individually on what we would like to see from them in the match and we will speak to the group collectively about how we are looking to get the result that we want.

“Defensively we know how we want to play and in attack we know how we want to play.

“Now it’s just a matter of the girls going out there and doing it.

“We have practised over and over, so now they just have to go and do the job.”

Robinson said competition for one of the 16 available spots in the final squad has been intense.

“We have a few heavy legs but the mindset of these players is so amazing and everybody wants to play,” she added.

“They understand only 16 can play in the match but everybody wants to be a part of that 16.

“They want to finish strong and right their wrongs and are definitely up for this match.”

Robinson revealed her intentions to tweak her squad from the one that competed against the Dominican Republic.

“We are going to make some subtle changes but we haven’t finalised that yet,” she said. “Having the ability that we have in this team, we can almost pick anybody.

“We have seen enough of these guys either in these matches or in training to know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Robinson has strongly urged the public to come out and rally their support around her players who have given their all towards the cause.

“We want to see a sea of pink and hear horns and noise,” she said.

“I don’t want it to be a quiet stadium. I want to see everyone cheering on these girls and making as much noise as possible because they have worked hard.

“All results haven’t gone the way we wanted them to go, but these girls do put in the work. They don’t complain about the work they have to put in and they understand what they have to do.

“We are putting a lot of things in place and these girls deserve a crowd that supports and backs them with a whole lot of noise.

“I want us to light up the parish [Devonshire] tomorrow night and want people in Flatts to hear the noise.”

Despite falling short of their objective, Robinson believes the future for the national team remains promising.

“We are writing our own book right now and this is just the first chapter,” she said.

“Besides the fact that we have been at this for a while, it’s still the beginning of this new process.

“We have been working with some of the players in this group from when they were under-15s; looking at where they would be in 2022 and what we can achieve with this group, so we are very encouraged by it.

“We are still in the process of how we want to play and what we want it look like and even against the Dominican Republic you could see how we were trying to play.

‘It just didn’t come off the way we wanted it to.

“But we have picked ourselves up and moved forward. We have Nations League and other stuff coming up next year, so we have a blueprint now.

“We have something to work with and something to work towards.”

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Published April 12, 2022 at 7:43 am (Updated April 12, 2022 at 7:28 pm)

Naquita Robinson calls for ‘sea of pink’ to send Bermuda off on a high

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