Tre’s passion play

  • All choked up: a visibly emotional Tre Ming after scoring against New York Cosmos last year (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)
  • Collector’s item: Tre Ming feels it is an honour to play for Bermuda and for PHC. He has been doing the latter since he was a child and now is essential to club and country (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)
  • Let’s play: Tre Ming seen in his PHC gear as an 11-year-old in 2005 (File photograph)
  • Pretty in pink: the Bermuda Football Association unveiled the new kit for the men’s and women’s national teams in advance of the Concacaf Nations League Qualifier against Sint Maarten tomorrow night. Modelling the kit are, from left, Shomari Mello, Tyra Stovell, Richanette Burt and De’Javon Paynter (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Bermuda vice-captain Tre Ming with his new top (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Rocking it: Bermuda sport their new kit at the Washington Mall before the Concacaf Nations League clash with Sint Maarten (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

One thing you can count on from Tre Ming on the football field is 100 per cent effort.

Whether it is in the black and white of PHC or the Bermuda colours, the Zebras midfielder totally loves playing football. It becomes evident after just a few minutes of watching him play.

That total commitment makes him a player his coaches can count on, and Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda head coach, is expecting nothing less from his vice-captain when Bermuda face Sint Maarten tomorrow night in the Concacaf Nations League at the National Sports Centre.

“He has always displayed a willingness to want to play for Bermuda,” Lightbourne said. “He wears his heart on his sleeve and is always one of the first to training.

“He doesn’t give you any problems and I would consider him a team player. He was vice-captain when Andrew [Bascome] had the team and I just never did anything about the captaincy or vice-captaincy until I felt I needed to do something.”

Ming showed his emotions when scoring from 40 yards against New York Cosmos in March 2017, before getting booked for a clash with a Cosmos player when Ming raised his shirt to show stud marks on his chest.

“He shows passion and pride for the country, as you’ve seen when he scored a couple of goals for Bermuda,” Lightbourne said. “He always wants to do well. He’s definitely someone to emulate. His performances have been very consistent.”

Ming was part of the PHC team that dominated domestic football last season, winning the league, Dudley Eve Trophy, Friendship Trophy and Charity Cup, and club coach Scott Morton is quick to point out that Ming was an essential member of that team.

“I haven’t seen a player like Tre since I was coming up, and how players displayed passion in football,” Morton said. “Whether it’s one-bounce, one-touch, a side kick, from training to playing matches, it’s just unbelievable.

“He’s our No 1 trainer, attendance-wise. He always wants to train whether it is rain, blow or shine and if the national team finishes training early, he’ll still come to our training session [at PHC]. He just wants to play every single game; it’s unbelievable the passion and determination that he has. It’s infectious to other players and even to me as a coach.

“It makes me want to raise my standards because you want to meet him where he’s at. I feel I have to bring my ‘A’ game every time in order to help him be better.

“He doesn’t know it but I use the things he brings to training to help me help other players. On the flip side, sometimes you have to reel him in a bit because sometimes he’s too motivated.

“But I’ll never take that away from him, as long as he continues to do what the team asks of him, I’m fine with it. It makes him who he is.”

In a Bermuda squad comprising largely foreign-based players, Ming is one of four from PHC in the set-up, along with club captain Cecoy Robinson, Marco Warren and Daren Usher. He considers it an honour to play for both the Zebras and Bermuda.

“As a kid I always wanted to play for the national team,” Ming, 24, said. “Just being in the team, let alone being the vice-captain, gives me so much more energy to be better and do better.

“Not just that, but the children look up to me and they can see that you don’t have to be a professional to be passionate about what you do. The biggest thing for me is for the children to be able to replicate the passion and energy that I give — being a role model gives me that passion and energy.

“I started at PHC when I was 4 years old and played with the same players all my life, so that chemistry off the field is what you see on the field, as we’re winning games and winning trophies. Even when we lose we pick each other up.”

He added: “When it comes to training I’m the first guy there and the last to leave. I like to get there early just to settle myself and clear my mind from the whole day.

“I’m a schoolteacher at TN Tatem, so I take myself out of those shoes and put myself in different shoes. It is safe to say that as soon as the whistle blows, I’m a different person. I’m all-in, especially when it comes to playing at home [at PHC Field]. We like to protect home court and you’re not coming into my house without wiping your feet first.”

Ming added: “Every single day I talk about self-esteem, understanding your impact on others that you may not even feel you impacted. Just making sure it is a positive impact.

“Of course we are all human and we make mistakes, but the thing is learning from them, and that’s what I teach my children.”

Ming is urging fans to come out and support the team on Friday against Sint Maarten. “I’m excited,” he said. “It’s been a while since we played at home. The last time was against Barbados when we lost after being up 2-0.

“We just want to show them that we are making the right strides and taking Bermuda places, but we just need their support.

“We were on the radio the other day and Casey Castle said ‘we always need our 12th player’. The fans play a huge role in that, whether they criticise or not. Them being there is huge.”