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Buckswood academy hails contribution of Bermudians

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The eight Bermudian players at Buckswood show off the team's silverware, as well as the Bermuda flag. Five of the players, Skyler Young, Kaej Stovell, Kai Sampson, Chance Eve and Ah-Najae Saunders, will play in the Under-15 English Schools Football Association national final against Brooke House College on May 25 at West Bromwich Albion’s ground (Photograph supplied)

Buckswood School Football Academy, located just outside Hastings in East Sussex, is another British school with several Bermudian footballers on their books, following in the footsteps of Kane Crichlow, Jervay Laws and Eusebio King-Mills.

The school is home to players from all over the world, with their football teams ranging from under-12 through to under-19, playing in regional, national and international tournaments.

The team enjoyed some success this season, including winning the Under-16 English Schools Football Association national title, the under-19s winning the county league championship and the under-15s, set to play Brooke House College in the Under-15 ESFA national final on May 25 at The Hawthorns, the home of West Bromwich Albion.

Poster boy: Skyler Young, the Buckswood under-15 goalkeeper was delighted to be used on a poster promoting the school. Young is a Bermuda national academy under-17 player

Tristan Robinson, who plays for the Brooke House under-15s, will meet up against several of his fellow Bermudians in this month’s final, with Buckswood having five local players — Skyler Young, Kaej Stovell, Kai Sampson, Chance Eve and Ah-Najae Saunders — in their squad.

“This year has seen an increase in the number of players from Bermuda, following in the footsteps of Kane Crichlow, Jervay Laws and Eusebio King-Mills, which has greatly strengthened the academy,” said Sherene Zouehid, who works in international admissions and marketing.

“Both the under-15 and under-16 finals will include young talented Bermudians competing at the highest level of UK school football.

“The under-16 final included Hayden Dill, Kaej Stovell and Brighton Morrison, who helped the team come back from being 2-0 down at half-time to win 4-2 after extra time.

“The under-16s, which included the recently joined Brazil Robinson, won the Blackpool international cup, going undefeated over the two days. Preston Bang helped the under-14s gain a respectable third in an extremely tough age group.”

Now the school is looking to add the under-15 title to their successful season, as Brooke House look to do likewise after reaching five finals in different age groups.

“The progress of all the Bermudian players has been exceptional and they look towards a bright future,” Zouehid said.

Dill is an under-16 player and a Bermuda national academy under-17 player, while Morrison and Robinson are under-16 players. Stovell is a Bermuda national academy under-17 player, along with Young, Sampson, Eve and Saunders.

The Buckswood academy staff is headed by Trevor Bumstead, the former West Ham and Arsenal coach, who has brought through players such as Bakayo Saka (Arsenal and England) and Declan Rice (West Ham United and England).

The academy has seen 25 players in the past five years go on to join the professional ranks, most notably Nigerian forward Terem Moffi, who now plays for Lorient in France’s Ligue 1.

“This year we have had eight players go on trial with professional clubs, including Brentford, QPR and Varnamo, of the Swedish Premier League,” Zouehid said.

“We continue to look at highlighting more players to go on to trials and give as many opportunities for them to be discovered.”

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Published May 14, 2022 at 7:23 am (Updated May 14, 2022 at 7:23 am)

Buckswood academy hails contribution of Bermudians

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