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Dale Eve to captain Bermuda against Haiti

Dale Eve will captain Bermuda in their final Concacaf Nations League group B match with group winners Haiti today (File photograph)

Dale Eve has been handed the captain’s armband for Bermuda’s final Concacaf Nations League group B match against group winners Haiti at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

Head coach Kyle Lightbourne has confirmed the Hanley Town goalkeeper has replaced Nahki Wells as captain after the latter opted not to travel with the squad in the wake of Bermuda’s 2-0 defeat by Guyana at the Flora Duffy Stadium on Saturday as he continues to reassess his international future.

“Dale has been around the team for a while and I think he deserves an opportunity to lead the team,” Lightbourne told The Royal Gazette. “It’s an honour for him so hopefully he takes it and puts on a captain’s performance.

“It’s not something that is permanent but just where we are at this stage going through this transition.”

The national team have their work cut out against a Haiti side who clinched group honours and their spot at the Gold Cup in the United States this summer with a 4-0 win over bottom team Montserrat on Saturday.

“We know we are up against the best team in our division, so that means we have to be at our best obviously,” Lightbourne added. “We have to play with pride, passion and determination.

“We are going to be positive, try to play football and try to represent the country in the right way, which is always the case.”

Bermuda have nothing but pride to play for after having their hopes of Gold Cup qualification dashed and no teams being relegated from their group following recent revisions to the competition’s format.

“There’s no relegation from this group, as we were notified, so that’s a blessing in disguise to a degree,” Lightbourne said.

The national team held Haiti to a goalless draw in their group opener last June and will be keen to obtain another positive result against the group winners and bounce back from a disappointing outing against Guyana.

“Everybody is disappointed because we didn’t get the result against Guyana,” Lightbourne added. “Myself as coach and the coaching staff, I think we take losses probably harder than the supporters.

“People don’t realise what coaches go through when your team loses, so we will try and get things a lot better than they were. It’s going to be a difficult task against Haiti. We know that and it’s all about showing pride, determination and guts.

“I think we have been in this position as far as people write you off, that’s when you come back fighting even harder.

“We’ve had some good results on the road and good performances, but we have to do it again.“

Lightbourne admitted his team were not at their best against Guyana with the only bright spot being the performances of some of the younger players he drafted into the squad, among them Harry Twite, Jai Bean, Ahria Simmons, Deniche Hill and Sincere Hall, who were making their senior international debuts.

The coach has yet to name his team for Tuesday’s clash with Haiti but is considering giving more of the younger players a run out as he rebuilds for the future.

“There’s going to be a quite a few changes to the team and it will be a real test to see where our younger players are,” Lightbourne added. “They showed good signs towards the end of the [Guyana] game, so we will see what happens.

“We have to keep building with these youngsters that we have. But we also have to worry about those that did a lot in the first game and how they react in the next game that’s so close. The first game can take so much out of them, especially younger players.

“Their levels may not get to the level they were in that first game, which is always a worry coaches have, especially new players to the team, so we have to be careful.”

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Published March 28, 2023 at 6:24 am (Updated March 29, 2023 at 6:26 am)

Dale Eve to captain Bermuda against Haiti

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