Sports > Football

Excuses, excuses...

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stewps... I agree wit Touches here.. it soundin fishy.

Hmm. De question now becomes "Which savannah dey was playing/practicing in?"

Kentoine calls it quits
By Colin Thompson (Royal Gazette)

9 Jan 2007

With his team’s Digicel Cup hopes hanging in the balance miles away in the Caribbean, Bermuda national football team captain Kentoine Jennings yesterday announced his retirement from international football.
“I just don’t think I have it in me anymore. The legs are not as light as they used to be, and because of various other commitments, I no longer have the time to get myself in proper condition,” Jennings told The Royal Gazette.
The North Village stalwart broke through to the senior national ranks at age 16 and went on to play under five different coaches during his 19-year involvement with the national programme.
Jennings was a member of Gary Darrell’s 1993 World Cup qualifying squad that advanced to the second round of group qualifiers – the furthest the Island has ever journeyed in the prestigious competition.
“I’ve had some good times playing international football and enjoyed playing at that level for so long because I’ve enjoyed playing against different players,” Jennings said.
“I’ve played a lot of international football and playing with the national team gave me the opportunity to play with and get to know a lot of players from other teams. You really get to know a lot about the people you play against every week and their character playing with them at the national level.”
Jennings last suited up for the national team against the Dominican Republic during the first round of the Digicel Cup held in the British Virgin Islands last September, a match in which the veteran was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.
“In order to really enjoy the good times, you must also go through the bad times,” Jennings smiled. “You have to learn how to take the good with the bad.”
The 35-year-old former pro travelled to Barbados with the national squad last November for the second round of Digicel group qualifiers, but after serving out an automatic one-game suspension “popped” a calf muscle in training and was sidelined for the remainder of the tournament.
Jennings had hoped to make one last national team appearance on the team’s current trip to Trinidad, but those plans were dashed when he pulled a hamstring playing for Village in a Premier’s Dudley Eve Trophy match against Somerset Trojans last month.
“I’ve had a long international football career, and so it really doesn’t matter to me how I leave the game,” Jennings insisted. “It’s been a very long, tiring and at times rewarding journey.”
In his absence, overseas-based striker John Barry Nusum has worn the captain’s armband, and in Jennings’ estimation has done an “outstanding” job so far.
“John is somebody everybody respects and looks up to because he’s a leader and carries himself well,” Jennings said.
“He is a people person and nobody has any issues with him. John also works extremely hard every time he goes onto the field, can play in various positions and can also lead.
“He’s always been somebody I’ve felt takes responsibility for his actions and always seems to carry himself very well. And so he’s definitely a person I would consider as a leader.
“Even I would be proud of him being my captain because he’s that type of person who I look up to, and definitely someone I would consider for the captaincy.”
But while Jennings’ international football career has come to an end, the veteran says he has yet to make any decisions about bowing out of domestic football.
“I definitely intend to play out the remainder of the season with Village,” he vowed. “But as far as playing football next season, that’s a decision I’ll have to make when this season is over.”

‘We can still win’ insists Scope
By Sam Stevens (Royal Gazette)

9 Jan 2007

Bermuda know they have to improve “in every single area” if they are to overturn the 2-0 deficit against Haiti in tonight’s second-leg Digicel Cup clash.
Assistant national coach Paul Scope admitted yesterday the team had been totally outclassed by a meticulously prepared and more organised Haitian side during the opening game at the Ato Bolden stadium on Sunday afternoon.
At only two goals down, however, he insisted the challenge of reaching next week’s finals was not an insurmountable one.
“We’re fully aware that Haiti were the better side on Sunday night – they dominated us from the start and in general there was very little we could do about it,” he said.
“We didn’t start very well at all and then conceded a goal inside the first ten minutes. We improved a little bit early on in the second half but overall we weren’t able to put much pressure on them.
“We thought we might be able to get away with the 1-0 defeat and go into the second leg with it all to play for, but that second goal late in the game has made the task a little tougher for us.
“Saying that though, we all know we can play a lot better than we did, so to get away with a 2-0 given how Haiti dominated us certainly gives us hope that we can turn things around in the second leg.”
From front to back, Bermuda had major problems on Sunday that arguably might take more than one extra day of training to put right.
From a defensive standpoint, a back four missing both Stanton Lewis and Kentoine Jennings looked hesitant and short on pace against Haiti’s physically-imposing attackers, while in midfield Jelani Scott and Kwame Steede were knocked off the ball repeatedly as they struggled to impose themselves on the game in the manner in which they have been doing for their club sides recently.
All this meant that Bermuda’s two star strikers, captain John Barry Nusum and Khano Smith, spent more time tracking back in search of the ball than causing the damage they are capable of in the opposition’s penalty box – something illustrated by the fact that they generated only two strikes on goal during the course of a painful 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, reluctant to endure the hour-long bus ride to the Ato Bolden stadium near the village of Couva, just outside Port of Spain, the team trained once again yesterday afternoon on the capital’s central Savannah, although on this occasion they were able to stretch their legs on a marked football pitch rather than the uncut rugby field they encountered on Saturday night.
With no injury concerns to speak of, Scope and coach Kyle Lightbourne will have a full quota of players to select from this afternoon – though Scope said there would not be any drastic changes to the starting eleven.
“Kyle and I have been discussing things for most of the morning and have been trying to come up with a formula that we think will do the business,” he said.
“We might have to tweak things here and there in light of what happened on Sunday but I think we’re generally happy that we have got the right players in the right positions.
“But we’ve got issues all over the park, no question. There’s not really any area of the team which we can say we’re satisfied with.
“Defensively we made some errors that none of us were happy about and in midfield and up front, keeping hold of the ball was a major problem. We kept on giving the ball away in dangerous areas and consequently it was backs-to-the-wall stuff for most of the game.
“But we knew coming into these games that Haiti would be a strong side and they’ve certainly proved that to us.”
Asked whether he felt Bermuda’s preparation for the play-off games had been sufficiently thorough, Scope said that the shortcomings in this area were already well documented and all they could do from a coaching perspective was to work hard with what they’ve got.
“At this stage of the game we cannot go looking around for excuses,” he said.
“Everybody is aware that under the present circumstances, we do not have the luxury of any practise games and that this has been an issue for a while.
“We’ve had some criticism about allowing the players to take part in the Dudley Eve Trophy where we picked up a couple of injuries, but I think maybe people might be able to appreciate that we might have been even worse off now if we had asked them not to play.
“So is there anything we can do about all this right now? No, of course not. We’ve just got to get on with it and try and turn things around in the short time we have available.”
Kick-off for tonight’s second leg is at 5 p.m. local time, with the winners on aggregate going on to play Martinique, Barbados and hosts Trinidad next week in the group stages of the eight-team finals.


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