Safe hands: Tim Figureido will help protect the Bermuda Hogges’ nets this season. *Bermuda Sun file photo
Safe hands: Tim Figureido will help protect the Bermuda Hogges’ nets this season. *Bermuda Sun file photo

Bermuda Hogges didn’t exactly set the USL Premier Development League ablaze during their inaugural season.

In fact, they didn’t make the playoffs after finishing bottom of the pile in the Eastern Conference Mid Atlantic Division.

But with a new season comes fresh hope and on this note newly appointed coach Maurice Lowe is optimistic his team can turn their fortunes around during the upcoming 2011 campaign.

“We are definitely looking to be more competitive in the PDL this year than we have been previously building on the work that has been done in the past,” the former Dandy Town defender told the Bermuda Sun.

The Hogges will officially get their season underway when they host Reading United at BAA Field tonight at 7pm.

Lowe said his players have put in the necessary work during pre-season training and are pumped up for tonight’s home clash.

“The players are very excited. The energy level in training is really high and you can see that they are ready for the challenge this summer.

Smooth

“We have a good nucleus of players that are working very hard and are committed, and I encourage the fans to come out in huge numbers to lend their support and give us real home field advantage.”

Lowe officially took over the helm from Scott Morton earlier this month and since then he has made steady strides settling into his new role.

“It’s been a very smooth transition for me and the players have been very receptive.

“The attendance at training is high and the players are buying into the national game style,” he added.

In addition to making their presence felt in the league Lowe said there are other long-term objectives to be met.

“From the standpoint of the Bermuda Football Association’s strategic plan the goal is to make our team fundamentally sound, develop a uniquely Bermudian style of play and continue to innovate faster than our competitors.”

With 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers looming on the horizon, Lowe said his players will have an added incentive to put their best foot forward this term.

“The World Cup is definitely adding to it. It has definitely been a draw for some of the older players returning to the Hogges this year along with the younger players looking to get into the World Cup squad when the qualifiers come around.”

Following tonight’s clash at BAA Field the Hogges will host New Jersey Rangers at the same venue on Sunday at 3pm.