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Bermuda Sun: Bermuda drops players.....

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Bermuda Sun:

Non-committed players dropped from football team

No one in the football world expects much from either Bermuda or Canada. Both sides are languishing just outside the top 100 in the FIFA rankings; both programmes are being run by interim coaches; and both countries know they have to play a lot more games if the rest of the world is to take them seriously.

Sunday's 3pm match at the National Centre is a step for both sides in gaining that respect.

Bermuda's fill-in coach Kenny Thompson said the squad has yet to be finalized, but there would be a few new players due to some footballers being uncommitted to the national team. The side will be captained by Keith Jennings.

"We have to build a team and build a programme based on players who are both available and committed - and more so from the commitment standpoint. No longer in the national programme can we have players come to the training ground too infrequently.

"Some of those players won't be participating in this match, so we're replaced them."

He said with Government providing $15 million, the funding is in place to take Bermuda to a higher level so "there should be a motivation for players now to play in the national team and to prepare properly.

"The funding is now here, so the excuses are now over from the player's standpoint."

Thompson said the national team is another rebuilding phase, and the Canada game will help provide exposure to international football to some of the younger guys.

"This should help develop and accelerate their development in tough matches," he said. "This way the players get a real idea how difficult international football can be. The players aren't stretched to the level that is required during club matches."

He added the players will find out quickly that the speed of thought, mental and physical requirements needed to play at this level.

He said Bermuda's footballers are capable of playing at a high level but it will take a mentality shift.

Stephen Hart, Canada's Under-21 coach, is the interim coach for the Canucks.

It's important that we play as many games as possible. And two, that we play as many games as possible in CONCACAF.

The country has been without a head coach since Frank Yallop quit last June to take over the LA Galaxy.

"This camp was a unique opportunity to get as many of the players as possible together to train and get to know each other a little bit better. National teams are a lot more difficult in getting the relationships right and this was a great opportunity for that."

He said it was a unique opportunity to get together two of Canada's brightest - two-time runner-up for the MLS MVP award Dwayne De Rosario of the Houston Dynamo and Ante Jazic of the Los Angeles Galaxy are included in the squad.

Hart said the location of Bermuda made it easy to fly both players in for the match.

The Canadians have also recalled Paul Stalteri (Tottenham) and Tomasz Radzinski (Fulham) from England as well as and Julian de Gu zman from Deportivo La Coruna, Spain.

Lars Hirschfield has also been recalled to take over goalkeeping duties. The Norwegian club pro has made only two appearances for Canada over the last four years because of injuries and playing so far from home.

Stalteri said the Canadians are going all out to win. "No game at this level is a friendly kick about or we wouldn't have brought over 15 or 16 players from Europe for the match."

De Rosario added: "Because we're a country that doesn't play a lot of games, every game that we do play is important. We try to get the best out of it regardless of the situation or regardless of the ranking of the team."

Not playing very many internationals was a sore spot for Hart.

"We played 22 less games than the top five teams in CONCACAF. That's unacceptable. We want to try and improve that," Hart said.

He added that Canada should be playing 14 to 16 matches a year.

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I'm glad that some of Bermuda's regulars won't be playing - now we have a chance! :D

$15M for developing soccer - for a country with only 60-70K people! Unless their dollars are like Mexican pesos - and I doubt it - this should put Canada to shame (BMO Field support excluded).

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quote:Originally posted by KAS

I'm glad that some of Bermuda's regulars won't be playing - now we have a chance! :D

$15M for developing soccer - for a country with only 60-70K people! Unless their dollars are like Mexican pesos - and I doubt it - this should put Canada to shame (BMO Field support excluded).

"The Bermuda dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar at a 1:1 rate, but is not traded outside of Bermuda."

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The Royal Gazette:

Bermuda squad can stake their claims for World Cup campaign

By Colin Zuill

Bermuda footballers have been warned to be prepared for a tougher match against Canada in tomorrow’s friendly international than the last encounters they experienced against the New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy last month.

If this is the case then the locals will indeed be hard pressed to come away from the clash at the National Sports Centre, starting at 3 p.m., with much to celebrate other than gaining valuable experience against their mostly professional counterparts.

In both of the previous fixtures Bermuda came out on the losing end, doing down 3-1 against the Revolution and a few days later 4-0 against the Galaxy.

Nevertheless the coach is looking forward to the contest with enthusiasm, anxious to build on their last outings even though the odds appears to be weighing heavily against his own men.

“The Canadians will be more formidable opponents because many of their players are in season whereas the Galaxy and the Revolution were in a pre-season mode. I expect Canada to be a very tough opponents, but that is good for us, it’s good for our players to face the reality of international football to help our development,” Thompson said.

Like the February matches the coach said that playing against any opponent is a learning experience, especially when they bring different challenges to the table.

The Canadians will be fielding a strong side featuring many of their European-based professionals.

Both sides will be looking to prepare their players for future comeptitions, Canada aiming for the Concacaf Gold Cup and Bermuda planning for the preliminary round of the World Cup after recently announcing they had entered the event.

“I am looking for our players to be able to adapt very quickly to this type of opponent in terms of our technical ability with the ball and how we read the game as well. I think a big part is going to be the level of our mental strength, it’s going to be very difficult and we have to be very strong mentally to be able to compete for 90 minutes, “ said the coach.

“It will be draining physically and very taxing mentally, but these sort of situations are very good for our players to develop in. Even though there is no major international event in the near future the motivation in the game is for the players to improve as much as possible such that we can be in a very competitive state by the time the World Cup qualifying rounds start.

“We have just entered the World Cup and we also now have the funding to play many matches in a build-up to the World Cup, so I have an eye on the level of motivation for the players to learn as much as possible and as quickly as possible and for their performances to be on a high level.

“We want players who want to win, but we accept that we are in the infancy in our programme and winning will become more important as the preliminary rounds begin. We now have to take the necessary steps to ensure that we will be in the position to be very competitive by that time, but the desire of the players is very important and that’s what we are looking for now.”

Just what sort of starting line-up Bermuda fans will witness is not known going into the match-up with the coach until late yesterday not even having announced the eventual squad he will be taking to the Sports Centre.

But the belief is that the majority of the players who were involved in the two previous games will be called on once again to carry the Bermuda flag. Canada coach Stephen Hart was anxious to organise the friendly against Bermuda, saying it was his squad’s first “major get-together” since the team was edged 1-0 by Hungary last November. Players in North America, a relatively small number of their full contingent, were available for a football camp in Florida in January, but that didn’t measure up to the size and quality of the one they have held here for the past week.

“We are indeed fortunate to have the majority of our European-based players here and we are also thrilled to be able to go into a game situation and arrange this full international against Bermuda which we will certainly be taking very seriously,” said the coach.

He admitted that while his own status as interim coach offered its challenges the entire team management and squad were concentrating fully deriving the maximum benefit from the camp.

“There could be a challenge to get the players to play for an interim coach, but they are seasoned players, they know that I probably I will not be in position at the end of it and it’s difficult to ask them to come out and commit themselves.

“However, to be fair to them they have been tremendous professionals and we really do appreciate the way they have responded,” he added.

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