U14 keeper Corey Richardson saves a penalty in training
U14 keeper Corey Richardson saves a penalty in training
After three months of intensive training with some of the island's best coaches the moment of truth has arrived for Bermuda's youth teams.

This weekend they'll step out at the National Centre in their brand new Bermuda jerseys to compete for their country against a host of top club sides from the U.S.

For many of them it will be their international debuts.

But the three coaches who have been preparing them for the event - Trojans' Dennis Brown, Colts' Ray Jones and Dandy Town youth director Scott Morton - believe they are ready for the step up.

"We have a lot of talent at this age group," said Brown, coach of the U-13s.

"I think the spectators will be pleasantly surprised at the level of these young men.

"It was an eye opener to me to see the quality that we have."

He said he felt his squad could do well in the four-team tournament - which will see them play four matches in the space of two days.

"I'm pretty confident for the most part, This will be their first time playing against foreign opposition, but I expect them to put their best foot forward. It's going to be a good learning curve for all of them.

"It's very important in their growth process as human beings and as football players."

Ray Jones, who is coaching the Under 14s, agreed that the tournament, and others like it, would be vital to the development of Bermuda's young footballers.

The under-14s will be up against four teams including the Olympic Development team from Connecticut.

"It's great exposure and a great honour for these youngsters to play for their country. It's nice to have it on our own turf instead of having to travel to get these type of games. They'll be able to play in front of their friends and family at the national stadium."

Scott Morton, who has also had the under-15s in training since December said he had a good group of players who were itching to get out on the pitch and represent Bermuda.

"These guys are dominant in their age group but it's good to put them up against outside competition and confirm for them, hopefully what their coaches have been telling them, that they need to continue to improve."

Morton, who recently traveled to a College Showcase tournament in Baltimore with his Dandy Town U18 side, said the weekend tournament would be a good chance for Bermuda's youngsters to see the level of competition that was out there in the States for college scholarships.

"We are definitely not as fit as those players, but if we concentrate on the things we do well. If we keep the ball well, move the ball around and retain good possession we will do well."

The under-15s will also be up against an Olympic Development side as well as two top club sides.