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Talented youngsters offer optimism for Bermuda squad

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Bright spark: Deniche Hill, pictured taking on Guyana’s Emery Welshman, provided fresh impetus after coming in the second half (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Harry Twite and Deniche Hill are among a crop of talented young players aiming to establish themselves in the Bermuda squad as the men’s national squad finds itself in a pivotal transitional phase.

In the crucial Nations League clash against Guyana on Saturday, head coach Kyle Lightbourne sprang a selection surprise, with debutants Twite, Jai Bean and Ahria Simmons thrust into the starting line-up, while Sincere Hall was also handed his first taste of international action from the bench.

While Bermuda ultimately went on to suffer a 2-0 defeat in the group B clash, it was the performances of those young players, including Hill who earned his second cap as a second-half substitute, that provided one of few positives in a disappointing display at the Flora Duffy Stadium.

With questions remaining over the futures of a host of the squad’s more senior players, including Nahki Wells who has not made the trip for the final Nations League encounter against Haiti today, there is an opportunity for the new contingent to stake their claim as the team evolve.

Assured performance: Harry Twite drew plaudits for an impressive debut at the heart of Bermuda’s defence (Phptograph by Blaire Simmons)March 25 2023

“The team is definitely going through a transitional period and that means we are going to need to bring through more younger players,” said 17-year-old Twite, who deservedly drew plaudits for an assured performance at the heart of defence.

“It feels good to have made my debut. Hopefully we can be an example and pave the way for others to make that breakthrough.

“Obviously it was not the result any of us would have liked but it was a great experience for not only myself but all of the young players. I’m really proud to have made my debut and I think the younger players coming in all showed a lot of character.”

International debut: Jai Bean earned his first cap, starting in the defeat to Guyana (Phptograph by Blaire Simmons)

Another player who caught the eye was Hill after being introduced on the hour mark, He provided a spark down the left-hand side with his direct style bringing not only fresh impetus to the Bermuda team but a buzz of excitement among the crowd.

The 18-year-old, who is part of Premier League Leicester City’s Under-21 set-up, is confident of being one of the players to help fill the void of the outgoing senior members of the squad and be a major part of the national team’s future.

“We have a few players who are perhaps coming to the end of their international careers and so it is up to the younger group of players to take up the baton and try to take the national team forward,” he said.

“Hopefully I can keep building from here and try to earn my place in the first team more often. There’s a number of younger players coming through so hopefully we can keep growing and building together going forward.

“I felt like I had a good game when I came on. I just tried to be positive and give the team and crowd a lift. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get back into the game but hopefully we can push on from this and come back stronger.

“I felt confident because I knew I had to try and show what I can do. Hopefully I keep getting the chance to play more because I feel I can bring something to the team when I get on the ball.

“My natural game is to try and get in positions to be one on one with defenders and make things happen going forward. It was great to be able to get some minutes and now I want to keep working hard and get some more opportunities.”

Encouraging signs: Sincere Hall, impressed in midfield in first appearance for the men’s national side (Phptograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published March 28, 2023 at 6:04 am (Updated March 28, 2023 at 6:54 am)

Talented youngsters offer optimism for Bermuda squad

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