The Oakville Blue Devils’ tour of the island this month will be especially vital for Jahquil Hill.
The Bermuda goalkeeper intends to use the tour as a platform to reignite his career at English non-league side Rushall Olympic.
Hill has been out of favour at the semi-professional side and has been home since returning from international duty with the senior national squad on a tour of the Caribbean last month.
But he believes that a solid display between the posts for the Gombey Warriors against the visiting Ontario League 1 Champions could be the catalyst to put his club career back on track.
“At the moment Rushall are in good form and the manager doesn’t want to change their system,” Hill told The Royal Gazette. “If the opportunity comes it will be important to impress because it could put me back in good stead at Rushall.”
Hill is training with Bermuda before their clash with the Oakville Blue Devils next Thursday for the Bermuda Triangle Cup at the National Stadium.
The 21-year-old player has some momentum having kept a maiden clean sheet at senior international level in Bermuda’s goalless draw with Barbados at the Usain Bolt Stadium last month.
“I’m very thankful for this clean sheet,” Hill said. “I’ve been wanting it for awhile now and to get it on my fourth cap is a big achievement for me. I made two saves and really didn’t have much to do except those two saves in that game.
“I really wanted the win and was frustrated we didn’t win because we had numerous chances to score and just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. But it was a very good performance from the team and we just have to push on from that.”
Hill’s flawless display came right on the heels of Bermuda’s 3-2 defeat by Antigua and Barbuda in their tour opener at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
“It was a very scrappy game against Antigua,” Hill added. “Antigua was a crazy match and I felt we should’ve beat them easily.
“Individual mistakes cost us, including myself. But it’s something we learnt from and bounced back from.
“After that game Maurice [BFA technical development chairman Maurice Lowe], Kyle [Bermuda coach Kyle Lightbourne] and Reggie [captain Reggie Lambe] said we need to keep a clean sheet against Barbados and I did my very best. I feel that [Lowe] is pushing me to get my confidence up and to know that our team is good enough to get a clean sheet.”
Hill is thrilled to be back in the national team set up but knows he cannot afford to rest on his laurels with others fighting for the No 1 goalkeeping spot in Lightbourne’s squad.
“To come back in the national and get that starting role back is a blessing because I feel it shows that the coaches trust me,” Hill said. “I feel that the coaching staff trust me to come in and do the job like I’m supposed to.
“It’s [clean sheet in previous outing for Bermuda] a plus for me and I just have to keep going and working hard. I have only played four games which is not enough to secure the No 1 spot, so I have to keep pushing and working hard.
“I’m only 21 so I am still young and have a lot to learn as a goalkeeper.”
The Oakville Blue Devils will also face a Bermuda Football Association Premier League All-Star Select for the Elite Men’s Cup at Goose Gosling Field April 22.