Posted on January 30, 2013
By O’Jay Burgess
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup summed it up best when he called the 2012-2013 Capital One Cup final between the Premier Leagues’ Swansea City and League Two outfit Bradford City a true “fairy tale,” story. When the newly branded Capital One Cup kicked off last summer no one would have ever thought that these two would contest the coveted prize.
Swansea, which is becoming a very stable top flight team, knocked off Chelsea and Liverpool on its way to Wembley. Bradford dispatched the likes of Aston Villa and the Arsenal on its march to England’s national stadium, which came as a shock to many.
The story of Bradford is pretty amazing. The club’s story is like those old cup victories the older generation keeps harping about, such as when a lower-tier team would just cruise through the competition conceding a single goal. While I think that has never been done in a major European league, the idea of it does warm the insides.
Bradford has a lot of factors that led to its success in the cup, a staunch defense; Wigan can tell you all about that. Manager Phil Parkinson set out his team to be hard to beat and it found a goal when they needed to find one. Some of those tallies came from Bermuda’s Nahki Wells. Wells, 22, was a key man for the “Bantams,” with the forward having already scored three goals for the Yorkshiremen in the cup.
Watching young Wells on his epic adventure though England’s Capital Cup reminded me of the former Bermudian greats such as Manchester City’s Shaun Goater and the pioneering Clyde Best of West Ham United. I wanted to call Bermuda a one off because of the two and now Wells has popped up on the radar and it’s throwing my theory in the water. I said maybe this is just a generational thing, every once in awhile Hamilton pushes out a diamond. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe, Bermuda has something really special about itself.
In my search for more Bermudians making an impact on a football pitch I happened to stumble across the talents Reggie Lambe, Toronto FC’s promising wingerwho only last season grabbed my attention.
The Bermuda Hogges play in the Premier Development League, in the same division as the Long Island Rough Riders and the Brooklyn Knights which has had some budding talent in their ranks. The Hogges are co-owned by Goater and continue to make strides in a very competitive league.
Bermuda isn’t going to break the hegemony in CONCACAF. The likes of the United States and Mexico are light years ahead of everybody else but the island does have pieces that it can work with. The likes of Goater and Best can be good examples for others to follow, the Hogges have a great system that can push through young talent and the performances of Lambe and Wells abroad can only do them a service.
For an island so small, they certainly have the know how to produce players with a bright spark.
Photo: Bermudan international Reggie Lambe plays midfield for Toronto FC. Photo courtesy of MLS
Categories: Bermuda, Caribbean, Guest Writer, My Two Cents
Tags: Bermuda Hogges, Bradford City, Brooklyn Knights, Capital One Cup, Clyde Best, CONCACAF, Long Island Rough Riders, Michael Laudrup, Nahki Wells, Phil Parkinson, Premier Development League, Reggie Lambe, Shaun Goater, Swansea City