FRIDAY, MAY 18: The Hogges will look to get their season off to a flying start tonight when they take on the New Jersey Rangers.
Head coach Maurice Lowe believes his side has the right formula this year to challenge for a top four position.
And he says this evening’s game at BAA Field will be crucial in setting the tone of their campaign.
Lowe added: “We are athletes at the end of the day and the reason we compete is to win games. We will have an eye on the playoffs throughout the season.
“We came sixth last season and that will be the minimum we will expect from this team this season.
“Obviously we have the Caribbean Cup coming up this year so what better preparation would it be for Bermuda for the Hogges to put in a good performance throughout the season.”
The coach believes this year’s side contains a good blend of experience and youthful talent.
And he says the team’s preparation has been going well.
He added: “Our concept is very much on the team, we do not tend to focus on individuals.
“But if I had to pick out a couple of players then Angelo Simmons and Drewonde Bascome have looked very good in training.
“Drewonde adds a cleverness to our team.
“Our preparation has been good running into this first game.
“Now it is about getting the team selection right as well as the structure of the team and the emotion and intelligence of the players.”
The Hogges have named an 18-strong squad for tonight’s clash with the New Jersey Rangers.
The players will be told the starting 11 a few hours before the 7pm kick-off.
But with Keishen Bean missing for the opener due to school commitments the team will be led by a new captain.
Hogges coach Devarr Boyles, whose contract with the Bermuda Football Association is up at the end of May, said the Hogges were determined to learn from the slow start they made to the 2011 season.
Boyles, who admits his future as the BFA’s director of player development is ‘up in the air’ added: “This year we have looked at the things we did wrong at the beginning of last season and tried to learn from that experience.
“If we had got a result in that first game last year, then things could have been different.
“This year Maurice has the right formula in place to give us the platform to make a flying start.
“Every year is massive for Bermuda football.
“But this year is even bigger with the under-17s starting in the second week of June and the under-20s in the third week.
“Then we have the Caribbean Cup.
“There is definitely a good buzz in the camp.
“There is a lot of excitement and desire to do well.”
The Hogges’ next game is on Sunday night at the National Sports Centre against the Brooklyn Nights.
The game kicks off at 5pm at BAA Field.