Three matches have been postponed, including tonight’s double-header at Goose Gosling Field, and two more have venues changed for tomorrow’s opening league matches in the BFA league.
The Bermuda Football Association announced the changes late yesterday following damage done to grounds by hurricane Humberto on Wednesday.
The double-header tonight between Flanagan’s Onions and Vasco and robin Hood and North Village have been called off, along with the First Division encounter tomorrow between St George’s and Hamilton Parish at Wellington Oval.
Two other First Division matches have been switched to other grounds, with Young Men’s Social Club and St David’s being moved from Police Field to PHC and Wolves and Devonshire Colts from Garrison Field to Southampton Oval, both now as part of double-headers.
All of Sunday’s four Premier Division matches are unchanged, with PHC will be hoping to kick-start their season when they begin the defence of their league title with a home match against Somerset Trojans.
The Zebras have had a losing start to the campaign under new coach Robert Bean, going down 3-1 to Robin Hood in the Charity Cup before suffering a 7-0 hammering by Dandy Town in their opening Dudley Eve Trophy match last weekend.
Bean replaced former coach Scott Morton, who won eight titles [two league, two Friendship, two Charity Cups, a Dudley Eve Trophy and an FA Cup] during his three years as head coach before stepping down at the end of last season.
However, Bean’s transition from assistant coach under Morton to head man has had some early challenges. Despite that, captain Cecoy Robinson insists there is no cause to panic just two games into the new season.
“We’re going to fight through it, it was just a matter of trying out a couple of things as we have a lot of young players in the squad this year,” Robinson said.
“It happens, but it is not what about what happens at the time but how you bounce back from it.
“It was Dandy Town’s day, but that’s gone now. We trained this week, trained really well and talked about a couple of things and we’re ready to kick-start the campaign starting on Sunday.
“It should be a good match, everybody’s up for it and we’re ready to play.
“We’re going to put our best foot forward and try to get the result.”
PHC and Somerset Trojans are the two most successful teams in the league, with 21 titles between them, eleven for PHC and ten for Somerset who live to fight another season in the top flight after being relegated last season.
BAA subsequently withdrew from the league, enabling the Trojans to hold on to their Premier Division spot. They, too, have a new coach with Dennis Brown returning to take the reins.
The Trojans have gained some experience with the signings of veteran Keith Jennings from Village and Leo Burgess and Lamaul Crofton from neighbours Somerset Eagles.
Devonshire Cougars and Boulevard will meet for the second time in the early season when they clash at Devonshire Rec.
Cougars won their Dudley Eve meeting 2-0 before suffering a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Robin Hood in their next match as new Hood signing, Chae Brangman, netted a hat-trick against his former team.
Southampton Rangers and Somerset Eagles mark their return to the top flight with home matches against X-Roads and Dandy Town respectively.
Rangers have boosted their ranks with some key signings, including Shayne Hollis, the former North Village player, from Hamilton Parish and Damon Ming from Dandy Town.
Four players also moved to Southampton from Paget, McQuinn Burch, Jason Smith, Delente Frost and Diaje Hart.
Eagles lost forward Leo Burgess to Somerset Trojans but have picked up the experienced Jonathan Bean from Ireland Rangers, with Nathan Rego returning from BAA along with Rasay Saggar and Joshua DeSilva. Marcelos Thomas also joined the club from North Village.
The western part of the island now has four teams in the top flight, PHC, Rangers, Eagles and Trojans, with fans in Somerset looking forward to two derby matches between Eagles and Trojans.
“We’ve got an early derby, too, third game of the season,” said Eagles coach Jensen Rogers, a former Trojans player, of the October 6 encounter.
“That should be a good game, one that everybody marks on their calendar.”