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Kenny Thompson and John Barry Nusum relish future with national team

Assistant national football coaches John Barry Nusum, left, and Kenny Thompson, right, are looking forward to exciting things to come for Bermuda on the international stage working alongside new national coach Michael Findlay (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Kenny Thompson and John Barry Nusum are thrilled to be involved in the senior national football set-up and are relishing what promises to be exciting times ahead for Bermuda on the international stage.

The pair have been appointed as assistants to newly installed head coach Michael Findlay who also has high expectations for his term at the helm.

“It’s a very exciting time to be involved in international football from a perspective of the players that we have now and the experiences and exposure that players have nowadays,” Thompson told The Royal Gazette.

“Not only the players that are local that have a degree of exposure to top football, but then the players that are based abroad who are competing in various countries directly in football nowadays.

“It means we have a new generation of players that have a better understanding of what is required for top football.

“From a coaching standpoint that’s exciting because you want to work with players that are driven and driven to understand the sacrifices and commitment that it takes to be involved at this level. It’s exciting from that perspective.”

Findlay is looking to start rebuilding the team with young talent he has scouted, many of whom former professional striker Nusum has already coached at the national under-23 level.

“I was working with the under-23s so a lot of these younger guys I have a good affinity for,” Nusum said.

“My hope in talking to Michael about it is to try and see some of these guys get into the senior team and get that new blood in.

“It’s exciting times for the country because I think we have a good blend of veterans and younger guys that if we can mesh it right it’s going to be a problem for other teams.

“A lot of these guys are in places where they are playing good football and they’re fit.

“Now it’s just a case of putting the pieces together in the right space and seeing what we can do from there.

“It’s going to be a journey so it won’t happen right away, and hopefully we can get a good result for the first game [Concacaf Nations League opener against French Guiana] to kind of spur that on.”

Having been placed in the four-team group C of League B, Bermuda will kick off the next Concacaf Nations League campaign at the Flora Duffy Stadium on September 8 before travelling to St Vincent & the Grenadines four days later.

Findlay’s team will then travel to Belize on October 13, with the reverse fixture taking place on island four days later.

St Vincent head to Bermuda on November 17 with the concluding fixture four days later away at French Guiana.

League B features 16 teams divided into four groups of four teams. Each team will play every other team in their group, home and away.

Bermuda will be aiming to improve on their previous showing in the Nations League in which they finished third in group B.

As well as the calibre of players now at the coaching staff’s disposal, Thompson is also excited to see the national team more actively involved in international football than in previous years.

“When I was coaching before, our region suffered from too little international football,” he said.

“Only the major nations were continuously involved and our involvement tended to be a little bit here and then maybe sometimes a year and almost two years inactive before something else came up.

“So now Concacaf has exciting competitions with the Nations League that leads into the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying.

“We are as active as we once observed only European nations involved at that level, and so it’s also exciting to be a part of it now.”

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Published August 22, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated August 23, 2023 at 8:04 am)

Kenny Thompson and John Barry Nusum relish future with national team

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