Andrew Bascome’s coaching abilities are so respected most of the other teams in the First Division are looking to St. David’s to be in the thick of the promotion battle.
File photos
Andrew Bascome’s coaching abilities are so respected most of the other teams in the First Division are looking to St. David’s to be in the thick of the promotion battle. File photos
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Bermuda Athletic Association

Coach: Gary Adams and Frank Brewster jr

Transfers: It's a new side, so everyone's been transferred in. The bulk of the squad wasn't playing last year but a few acquisitions, like Terry Sousa from Somerset Trojans and Rayhi Emery from Paget, will be relied on to lead the team.

Star player: Adams, who shone for Arsenal in the ISL, and Sousa will be the main men.

Young player to watch: 22-year-old Joshua Scott had trials with West Ham as a youngster. He hasn't played for a few years but once he hits his stride he could be a threat. Justin Rebelo - described by Adams as a 'little Carlos Tevez' is also expected to do well.

Outlook: This season's all about consolidation for BAA. They've patched together a team in the close season - many of whom came up with player/coach Adams in BAA's youth programme a decade ago. But aside from a few pre-season matches they've hardly played together. Some of them have not even played league football for several years. Adams said: "It's going to be a tough season."

Who'll win the First Division? "I'd love to see my old club Wolves get promoted but realistically I think it's going to be tight. St. David's will be a good team."

X-Roads Warriors

Coach: Albert Smith

Transfers: Troy Durham returns from a lengthy suspension. Orlyn Williams moves over from Devonshire Cougars and is joined at Warriors by Jamaine Salaam from Somerset Eagles and Kyle Brangman from Tuff Dogs. Kumondt Gibbons is kitting up for Warriors after Island XI folded.

Star player: Nashun Smith's goal scoring ability will be counted upon to help bring victories for Crossroads. He scored in high double figures last season and should be good for another 15 or so this time around too.

Young player to watch: Albert Smith said that they will be counting upon all the young footballers to play their part.

Outlook: Albert Smith said the club finished strong at the end of last season. "This season we're planning on doing much better. Our first goal is to qualify for the Christmas tournament. That's our first objective.

He added the team has much more depth, which will help the squad be more consistent. Last season they were up and down and struggled against some of the lesser teams. A lot of that had to do with when guys went missing, which shouldn't be as bad with the deeper bench.

Paget Lions

Coach: Anthony Stovell

Transfers: A terrible summer in the transfer market saw Paget pay the price for relegation from the Premier Division, losing 14 potential starters.

Travis Wilkinson, Marvin Belboda, Yusaff Pitt and Kamen Tucker were among those to leave and with no notable acquisitions Paget will have a young inexperienced team this year.

Star player: Khyon Smith missed most of last season but was influential when Paget were promoted in 05/06.

Young player to watch: The whole team. Paget will be bringing through up to a dozen youngsters this year.

Outlook: It's a rebuilding process for Paget this year. They've lost the bulk of their squad and will rely on young and inexperienced players to fill the gap.

Club president Mike Stovell believes the dedication of the players and the influence of the new coach - former PHC Legend Anthony Stovell - will help them rise above their current troubles.

"The players have been training since mid-July. It's a while since we've had such dedication and there are quite a few young players who could burst onto the scene this year.

"I'm not saying we'll compete for promotion. A good showing in the standings would be enough for us and if any bonuses come along, we'll take them."

Who'll win the First Division? Stovell reckons the titles going east: "I think it's between St. David's and St. George's."

Prospect United

Coach: Earl Basden (interim)

Captain: Antoine Daniels was last year's skipper, but no-one has been confirmed this time

Transfers: Defender Michael Simons has arrived from Paget Lions but is not eligible to play until November 15 because of his late registration. Stephen Gair has left to join the newly formed BAA side.

Star player: Defender Clifford Roberts has been Paget's most consistent player over the past few years but his coaching commitments with Paget's women's team could limit his appearances.

Young player to watch: Big things are expected of striker Keiran Bennett.

Outlook: Basden believes Prospect are a solid mid-table side. Uncertainty surrounds the coaching set-up with Basden, who runs Island Stats website, unable to take full time responsibility for the side. "They are just taking it one game at a time at the moment. We'll see how it goes. Realistically they are a mid-table side."

Who'll win the First Division? Basden reckons there are a few teams in with a shout: "Obviously St. David's will have a good chance with Andrew Bascome coaching them. Southampton Rangers look a decent side and Eagles and Wolves have picked up a few players as well."

HAMILTON PARISH

Coach: Meshach Wade

Transfers: Alvin Baker moves on to Commercial Division side Prospect. Wade comes over from Somerset Trojans and Gary Burgess from St. David's but neither is eligible to play until November 15.

Star player: Nigel Burgess

Outlook: Burgess is one of the island's best goalkeepers and he alone will keep them in many games, but it will be the men up front who will determine the promotion fate for Parish. Wade will add a lot as a player/coach if he stays, but even if he's there, he'll miss the first few contests.

Somerset Eagles

Coach: Kenny Thompson

Transfers: Former Trinidad international Marlon Rojas is away in the States and unlikely to play much this season - a big loss for Eagles. Theo Seymour and Dion Woolridge have arrived from cross-town rival Trojans while Quincy Brangman is back at the club.

Star Players: Darin Dowling, who played for Knights in the ISL, is the main striker, but Thompson insists his side is not about stars.

Young player to watch: All of Thompson's Academy sides are now affiliated to Somerset Eagles, creating a pipeline of young talent. Thompson believes at least four or five of them are good enough to make an impact this season.

Outlook: Eagles are outsiders for promotion, but in Thompson they have a coach who commands respect and can take them a long way.

The national team coach is in his second year at Somerset Bridge and he believes the signs of improvement are starting to show.

"We did well in the second half of last season. I think we only lost two games, after a slow start before Christmas.

"We ended up finishing mid-table. We want to improve on that this time and challenge for promotion."

Thompson, who is ready to fill in as a back-up player and has even played in goal for Eagles, reckons he has a stronger squad at his disposal this year, despite the loss of Marlon Rojas.

"We are looking to make a real push for the Premier Division, but everything in its time. If we don't do it this year we should at least come close, so we have something to build on next season.

Who will win the First Division? Thompson agrees it will be a very open season citing St David's, X-Roads and Southampton Rangers as the main challengers.

SOUTHAMPTON RANGERS

Coach: Brian 'Bulla' Anderson

Transfers: Rangers were one of the biggest beneficiaries in the transfer market. Reggie Lowe (North Village), Malachi Jones (PHC), Quinton Baisden, Travis Wilkinson, Kamen Tucker, Thomas Brown (all Paget), Gregory Steede (PHC Raiders) and Kwame and Janeiro Tucker (Key West Rangers) will give Southampton a deep bench.

The club only lost Leroy Hayward to Wolves.

Star player: Travis Wilkinson

Young player to watch: Reggie Lowe

Outlook: Rangers should be in the hunt for silverware and for promotion. The club has a deep, deep bench thanks to all the players transferring in.

Travis Wilkinson is coming into his own and is becoming one of the best players in Bermuda. Reggie Lowe returns from North Village and will also have a huge impact.

Just don't look for too much from Janeiro Tucker, Kwame Tucker and Malachi Jones. Those guys are concentrating on cricket (rightfully so) and won't be available to aid the football team.

With Rohaan Simons up front, the Rangers have a danger man to give headaches to the opposition. The team is strong in the midfield and will rely on Gerald Simons between the sticks.

Wolves

Coach: Eugene Crockwell, Karl Roberts (asst)

Transfers: Jared Peniston arrives from Dandy Town after excelling for the Bermuda Hogges in USL Division Two. Gary Adams has left to coach BAA.

Star Player: Peniston, with his Premier Division and USL experience, will be a big player for Wolves this year. The likes of striker VJ Minors, who played ISL for Knights in the summer, and sweeper Hopde Burrows are also influential.

Young player to watch: Centre-half Antoine Brangman should make his mark this season

Outlook: Wolves are genuine promotion candidates. They came close last year and with the addition of Peniston they will surely be among the favourites this time.

Roberts is non-committal about Wolves' aspirations: "We did well last year and we definitely want to be league contenders. We've been training for the past two months and we're regularly getting between 15 and 25 guys out.

"There's a lot of good teams out there and we're just aiming to be as strong as we can."

Who will win the league? Roberts believes it's anyone's title: "There's a lot of good teams and I think it will be a really open race this year. St David's, Rangers, X-Roads have all got good teams."

Young Men's Social Club

Coach: Leroy Wilson

Transfers: Nathan Simons and Quincy Jones join the team after a stint at Paget Lions. Jamel Dill will be rejioning North Village Rams while Aaron Denkins has signed on to play for Prospect/Fire in the Commercial Division.

Star player: Goalkeeper Anthony Swan will be counted on to provide leadership. He looks fitter and more focused this season and his agility will help make Social Club a competitive squad.

Young player to watch: Andrew Samuels is a centre-back that teams dream about.

The 6-foot plus youngster is strong, fast and shows good ball control. He should be a stalwart for the the club for many years to come.

Outlook: Wilson worked with Social Club's cricket team the past three years.

He played a role in taking that team from a doormat to Premier Division champion and he's looking to work the same miracle with the football team.

The team's goal is promotion. He plans to get it through discipline.

"I like my team to be the fittest in the league. I want them to be a disciplined team. Everyone has to pull their weight."

Who'll win the First Division? Wilson said the league "has better coaches than it use to have. You have guys like Andrew (Bascome - St. David's), Meshach (Wade-HPWC) and Bulla (Brian Anderson - Southampton), so with the coaches being better, the league should be more competitive.

St David's

Coach: Andrew Bascome

Transfers: Marcel Dill comes in from Somerset but there have been no major personnel changes.

Star Player: Otis Minors, Aaron Lugo and Corey Garcia are the stalwarts but Lugo insists St. David's, are about giving a team effort.

Young player to watch: Young goalkeeper Corey Richardson, who was on the national under-15 side.

Outlook: Along with Southampton Rangers, St David's are everybody's favourite for the title.

"I think it may have something to do with that dreadlocked fella that's down there with us," joked senior player Lugo, paying tribute to new coach Andrew Bascome.

Bascome's unparalleled football knowledge and discipline give St. David's, who were without a coach last season, the edge on their rivals. "He's introduced a new discipline and changed our whole way of playing. He's completely changed the system and we need to work on playing a different way, but the aim is to go straight back up to the Premier Division."

Bascome has been working with the side since just after May 24.

Who'll win the First Division? Lugo's backing his team to win it, but reckons Rangers are their biggest rivals: "They've brought back a lot of their former youth players."

St. George's Colts

Coach: Carlos Greaves, first full season

Transfers: Damon Darrell and Kyle Williams transfer in from Boulevard while Mishael Paynter went across the parish to St. David's. Allan Douglas is expected to stay with the team after filing papers to transfer.

Young players to watch: Khamari Greaves (Carlos' son), Jahde Foggo, Kyle Tannock

Outlook: St. George's have some very talented Under-16 players who could start pushing some of the veterans for spots on the squad. While their talent is undeniable, their biggest impact will be in the seasons to come. Veterans like brothers Dean and Phillip Bailey, Troy Hall, Kuma Smith, Neil Paynter and Gregg Foggo will be expected to hold the fort.

Greaves said: "I'm still relying on a few of my senior players...because they show good character and they teach the young people good values."

St. George's has an experienced backline, which should provide good defence.

Greaves said job one is to build character and instil discipline and the cups will take care of themselves. He knows that the expectations are high that his club will be promoted.

"Our biggest enemy is ourselves," Greaves said.