Football: First Division Gears For Promotion Run

December 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

[Written by Patrick Bean]

Much as the Premier Division, the Bermuda Football Association [BFA] First Division has involved three teams seriously contesting for the top two promotion spots.

Southampton Rangers, Somerset Eagles and Hamilton Parish Hot Peppers stand within a four-point spread of each other at the mid-point of the season. Both Southampton [26 points] and Eagles [24 points] are the last remaining unbeaten teams, with eight and seven wins respectively, versus two draws for Rangers and three one point results for the west enders, including a 2-2 draw against each other. Parish have seven triumphs to their credit but have lost twice and drawn once for a total of 22 points.

Rangers and Eagles both barely missed out on promotion a season ago, coming in third and fourth respectively, and are eager to repeat the dominance shown in the first half of the season during the second half.

“It’s been pretty successful the first half, but the work really starts in the second,” said Eagles Jensen Rogers to Bernews. “We accomplished a small part, however we have a lot to improve on at the same time.

“Our goal is to get promoted, so much of our work and efforts are geared towards reaching that goal. It’s been that from the beginning of the season and we have to remain focused down the stretch.”

Rogers has been supplied attacking talent with a penchant for sharing the ball and goals around, with Anwar Telford, Leo Burgess and Tahj Wade having scored eight goals apiece, with either able to deliver the killer blow at any time.

“We try to play an attacking style of possession based football and quick forward movement from phase to phase and operate a controlled but attack-minded system,” said Rogers, who’s men usually line up in a conventional 4-3-3 formation. “We have those three that really fit into the mold of the system we have in place, but it is the overall blending and determination of the players that really makes things work.”

All things being similar an end of season clash with Rangers may be the decider between who rises up and who stays in the forbidden.

Nevertheless another of the fearsome threesome group heading the charts are the Hot Peppers, coached by Corey Hill, who will have to break through the walls of the top two if they are likely to earn a top two spot at the end.

Both of Parish’s losses came at the hands of Rangers and Eagles and thee matters will want some rectifying, still they occupy a position within striking distance if the leaders have off days.

“We’re definitely in position to challenge and we’re looking for promotion as our main goal,” said Hill, who has added depth to his squad with the addition of a couple late transfers to bolster the defence and midfield. “we’re giving it our best to finish in the top two and we’re going from strength to strength.

“It’s going to be interesting going forward and exciting and we have it in our hands to do what needs to be done.”

Shane Hollis, Chris Caisey have “stepped up their games”, according to the coach and this has made a positive difference in encouraging the rest of the team to perform at higher levels.

“Here’s a real bond in this team and a great spirit and we’re looking to have something to celebrate as our reward at the end [promotion].”

Efforts to speak with Southampton coach Jomar Wilkinson on the record were unsuccessful, however he did express some obvious satisfaction with the rangers in the ‘catbird seat’.

St. George’s, St. Davids, Wolves, Social Club and Devonshire Colts each have much ground to make up to be considered promotion candidates and would appear in a jockeying state for position, while Flanagans, Ireland Rangers and Vasco make up the ‘scraps’ of the league hoping to build for future rise.

Current standings: First Division – 2018-2019 Regular Season

St. George’s44214131214-4-2
St. Davids451131518-34-5-1
Dev. Colts352111728-113-5-2
Ire. Rangers15471825-71-5-4

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