Luke Robinson finally feels at home in national squad
Luke Robinson says he now feels a fully fledged member the national set-up as Bermuda prepare to kick off their Concacaf Nations League campaign tomorrow.
Having made his debut for Bermuda against the Cayman Islands in a World Cup qualifier last summer, the 23-year-old, who has been capped three times, has again been included among the squad for the upcoming internationals, starting with the group B opener in League B against Haiti at the Flora Duffy Stadium.
Despite still being a relatively new face among the national squad, the winger is aiming to lean on his own previous experience and help the crop of potential debutants Daniel Cook, Edry Moore, Nzari Paynter, Mical Hardtman, Mason Christian and Riley Robinson integrate into Kyle Lightbourne’s senior squad.
“It’s always a massive honour to be called up, said Robinson, who helped English non-League side Worthing clinch the Isthmian League Premier Division title this season. ”My first time involved with in the squad was last summer; I really enjoyed it a lot and it was great to be back home in Bermuda.
“Now I’ve been integrated within the squad I feel a lot more comfortable. I know all of the guys a lot better, it’s good experience for me and I’m just excited for these upcoming games.
“I’m still relatively new to the squad but I think once you’ve had that first integration you’re immediately part of the group. I’ve tried to help the new players, put an arm around them and make sure they know when they’ve done something well in training.
“I’ve been impressed a lot with the new players involved and it’s just about making them feel welcome.”
Meanwhile, fellow English-based Roger Lee is relishing the opportunity to play for his country in front of a home crowd again.
The versatile defender, who plays for Loughborough Dynamo in the Northern Premier League Midlands Division, is determined to make up for lost time having not played in front of spectators at the stadium since Bermuda’s 1-0 victory over El Salvador in a Nations League qualifier in 2018.
“I’m just excited to get going again,” said the 30-year-old. “I know we haven’t had a lot of football as a country over the last year or so and so I’m ready to get back within the squad.
“It’s always an honour to be called up and I don’t think I’ve played in front of a home crowd since the game against El Salvador  so for me I’m excited to show the talent I have in front of the home fans again.”
Lee, who has been capped 26 times, also reflected on the importance for Bermuda’s overseas-based players such as himself and Robinson, to help raise the expectations among the squad and pass on their experience of playing at a higher level.
“When us overseas players arrive back, I think you have to try and up the tempo within the training sessions because sometimes Bermuda can be known to be laid-back and relaxed,” he added.
“When we get to this level, you have to put your front foot forward if you want to try to compete with the likes of Haiti.”