Keziah Martin On Season, Ambitions & More

February 26, 2022 | 1 Comment

[Written by Stephen Wright]

It is unlikely the name Keziah Martin is regularly passing the lips of Bermudian football fans; however, it soon could be, and probably already should be, given his performances for Kidderminster Harriers this season.

Although Martin is as Bermudian as traditional codfish and potatoes, the Gombey Warriors and Cup Match, he is not a genuine product of the island’s prolific development system.

He was not talked about as the future of the Bermudian game when barely in his teens like Reggie Lambe. He did not light up the Premier Division as a youngster à la Nahki Wells. And he was not a national academy starlet in the manner of Zeiko Lewis.

The 21-year-old barely played much football on the island before moving to England aged ten and has not yet represented the national team at any level.

That will surely change, though, with Martin almost certainly being monitored by Corey Hill, the Bermuda Football Association UK scout, along with several other young Bermudians popping up at various English professional academies and non-league sides.

For Martin, it has been nothing short of a breakout season at high-flying Harriers, making 20 appearances in all competitions for the Worcestershire club, who are third in the Vanarama National League North table.

He has also shared the pitch with Premier League stars such as Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Mark Noble during Kidderminster’s FA Cup adventure, which ended in a heart-breaking fourth-round defeat at home to West Ham United in extra time.

“It was surreal,” Martin told Bernews. “You go from playing against National League North players one week, and then suddenly you’re doing video analysis on players like Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen.

Photo by KHFC/Luke Thompson

Keziah Martin Bermuda Feb 26 2022 (1)

“It was the same against Reading [in the third round], playing against a former Chelsea player [Danny Drinkwater]. It was a crazy experience.”

The midfielder has recently recovered from an ankle injury that almost ruled him out of the West Ham clash.

He hopes for a clean bill of health for the remainder of the campaign as Kidderminster push for promotion to the National League – the fifth tier of the English game.

“I picked up an ankle injury against Kettering [Town] on an awful pitch,” Martin said.

“It was a week before the West Ham game, and that felt terrible because I thought I had a good chance of starting.

“It’s been tough because I came back for the West Ham match and then [aggravated] the injury and had to sit out the next couple of games.

“Hopefully, I’ll be back for good now until the end of the season and can help us get promoted.

“That’s the goal. We definitely have the players for it. Most of our players are too good for this level.”

It has been quite a turnaround for Martin, who barely featured for Kidderminster’s first team last season, which was declared null and void 12 months ago because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With no more games to impress manager Russ Penn and his assistant Jimmy O’Connor, he expected to be released by the club when his contract expired.

Photo by KHFC/Luke Thompson

Keziah Martin Bermuda Feb 26 2022 (2)

Fortunately for Martin, he was awarded a new deal and signed an extension last month, which will keep him at Aggborough Stadium until the end of next summer.

“Last season was a tough one for me,” said Martin, who is the third Bermudian to play for Kidderminster after Milan Butterfield and Knory Scott. “I was left out of the squad for most of the season.

“When decision time came regarding my contract, the gaffer called me into his office and told me he wanted to keep me.

“I was surprised to be honest, as I’d played about 15 minutes all season.

“This pre-season went well; I started [in the first team], and I’ve just kept playing.

“The gaffer and Jimmy have shown so much faith in me; it gives me a lot of confidence.”

Martin’s path to regular first-team action has been littered with setbacks, particularly in his early years when he had unsuccessful trials with Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Burnley.

Released by Birmingham City aged 15, Martin dropped down to the non-league with Solihull Moors, coming through their youth ranks before joining Barnsley.

He had just one season with the Barnsley Under-23 squad and signed for Kidderminster as a free agent at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Martin, who played for St George’s Colts in a Kappa Classic junior tournament, hopes his displays for Kidderminster have not gone unnoticed back home as he targets a senior call-up for Bermuda.

“I haven’t featured for Bermuda at any level,” he added. “I had one training session when I was about 13. Hopefully, I get a call-up. We’ll see what happens.”

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  1. 365 says:

    Hard work and dedication pays off once again. Congrats yooung man. I hope to read much more about you as you progress.

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