Soccer

Lightbourne in frame for Bermuda job

  • Lightbourne led the Bermuda Under-20 side in the Concacaf Championship in February

Kyle Lightbourne is keen on becoming the next national team coach and has been approached by the Bermuda Football Association about the vacant position.

The 48-year-old, who previously coached Bermuda from 2005 to 2007, is set to hold talks with Maurice Lowe, the BFA technical development director, after the resignation of Andrew Bascome last week.

Lightbourne served as Bascome’s assistant coach for the past 12 months, as well as leading the Bermuda Under-20 side to the group stages of the Concacaf Championship in Costa Rica in February.

“Maurice called me about the job last week and we’re due to have some formal talks about it,” Lightbourne said.

“We’re going to have a sit down and talk, and we’ll go from there.

“I’ve been Andrew’s assistant for a little bit and I must say that things were going quite well with us working together.

“We had a good working relationship and his reasons for resigning are not anything to do with the job itself.”

Lightbourne admits his coaching style has mellowed since his previous stint as Bermuda coach — but believes there would be a greater pool of talent at his disposal this time around.

He also feels he is now better equipped for the job having enjoyed plenty of domestic success with PHC Zebras and Robin Hood, as well as coaching the Bermuda Hogges for three seasons in the United Soccer League.

“I have changed in terms of the way I see things,” Lightbourne said. “I know more of the players on the island and better understand their mentality as well. I think I’ve grown as a coach, although I’m probably not as aggressive as I was at the beginning!

“Bermuda football has definitely improved since the National Academy started [in 2009]. We have more players overseas and some of the younger players that went to England at a young age have now developed and are ready for the senior level.

“That makes things a little bit easier as far as them being used to playing at a higher level.”

The former Stoke City striker, who stepped down as Robin Hood coach after leading them to a maiden Premier Division title last season, believes the Bermuda job has never been more attractive.

As part of Concacaf’s proposed “League of Nations” — which may be launched by the end of the year — Bermuda could play up to 36 international matches over the course of a four-year cycle. That would represent a seismic shift for Bermuda, who have historically struggled for games and played just two internationals this year, a 4-2 defeat at home to Canada in January and a 2-1 win away to Grenada in June.

“A lack of games has always been the problem with the national programme,” said Lightbourne, who also hopes to devote more time to his coaching development with a view to completing the Uefa A licence.

“But if something is put in place and we know that every international window we’re either going to have a meaningful game or a friendly, it makes it easier to plan to go forward.

“On our day we can cause teams problems but we just don’t play enough, so this league would be very interesting, not just for the coaching staff but also the players.”

Bascome took charge of the Gombey Warriors in 14 internationals, winning seven, losing six and drawing one.