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Bermuda Launches Pro League.......

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Bermuda Sun:

Pro league to launch with dramatic Superdraft Saturday

The 120 players who will make up Bermuda's first ever 'professional' league will be selected tomorrow night in an American style 'superdraft' at Spinning Wheel.

The eight Island Soccer League coaches will take turns to pick from a list of all those signed up, as the players anxiously look on waiting to see if they make the cut.

Each coach must pick 12 players and three alternates to fill out the squads of the eight teams that will form the six-a-side league.

The players had a last chance to impress the coaches at the ISL combine on Tuesday and Wednesday this week (see pg 63). Now it's crunch time.

"I'm taking my wife to the draft. That way I've got a shoulder to cry on if I don't get picked," said Somerset Extros' Rodney Bascome, voicing the apprehension that will linger in the back of every player's mind until they hear their name called by one of the coaches.

"People haven't just come out for a runaround they want to be part of this. They'll be a lot of guys upset if they don't get picked.

"I'll be upset, too, if I don't make it, that's why I'm taking my wife.

"So take your girlfriend, take your wife, take your tissues, have a drink ready if that's what you need, because we can't all make it."

With 200 players in the pool, at least eighty won't make it. So expect the tension to increase as the night goes on and the places disappear.

"It's going to be tense, it's going to be exciting," said David Bascome. the league's commissioner.

Though the league is described as 'professional' the players will not receive wages. But they will be playing for prize money of up to $40,000 and if successful, could end the 11-game season $2,000 richer.

And Bascome wants everything about the league to be 'professional' with the players expected to sign autographs and make public appearances on behalf of the league.

The professional attitude will extend to Saturday night's super draft with a strict no jeans, no sneakers policy in place for the event.

"This is the first chance for the fans and the players to see what this whole league is all about," he added.

"This is a historical moment. It's the first draft for the first ever pro league in Bermuda."

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