Mark Wade has hailed Bermuda’s historic Gold Cup qualifying feat as a “total team effort”.
Bermuda came from behind to beat Dominican Republic 3-1 at the Estadio Cibao in Santiago on Sunday to qualify for the Gold Cup for the first time.
“The reality and significance of the achievement is just starting to sink in,” Wade, the Bermuda Football Association president, said.
“The performance had its up and downs but was highlighted by a total team effort with the players leaving it all on the pitch.”
Wade said he and his BFA colleagues never doubted Bermuda’s ability to achieve their mission.
“We were all quietly confident that we could achieve the goal of reaching the Gold Cup, even after the setback against Aruba [a 3-1 defeat],” he added.
The former PHC player also praised all those who played a role behind the scenes in the team’s success.
“Plenty of work goes into success such as this,” he said.
“Most of these players’ international careers started in 2005, the youngest was 11 to 12 at the time. All of the coaches that have worked with these players share in this moment.
“Administratively, we have an entire executive and office staff who work behind the scenes on international matches local and overseas. training tours, and late nights.
“They are all a part of the journey to this milestone and they too all share in this moment.”
Wade said he expects that the renewed confidence among the Bermuda men’s team will have a knock-on effect.
“We expect that the confidence will trickle down to our women’s and men’s teams in all age groups as there is increased belief in what we do within the National Academy,” he added. “We also expect to see increased competition for places in the teams.”
As for the preparation for the Gold Cup, which runs from June 15 to July 7 in the United States, Wade said: “The work continues to prepare for the Gold Cup, on and off the field.
“The staff are holding a post mortem of the Dominican Republic match and adding to the ‘soft’ Gold Cup plan that was started prior to the Dominican Republic match.”