Nia Christopher On Football, Gold Cup & More

September 22, 2023 | 0 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Nia Christopher has urged the Bermuda women’s national team to make the most of home advantage as they begin their Concacaf W Gold Cup qualifying campaign against the Dominican Republic at the Flora Duffy Stadium tonight [September 22].

Bermuda must finish top of group C in League B to advance to the play-off round as they bid to reach the inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup, with Christopher insisting the players are “on the same page” in their qualifying quest.

Christopher returns to the fold after missing the NatWest International Island Games in Guernsey last summer, where Bermuda won gold, because of club commitments.

She will, however, miss the second qualifier away at Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday as she has a match for Towson University in Maryland.

“It’s exciting to start the qualifiers in front of our home crowd,” Christopher told Bernews. “A victory would set us up for the rest of the group stage.

“We’re all on the same page in what we want to achieve. We want to make the Gold Cup – we want to go as far as we can.

Nia Christopher Gold Cup Bermuda Football September 22 2023

“We’ve never had this much depth in the squad before – it’s exciting to see the growth of everybody involved.”

The forward heads into the qualifiers in a rich vein of scoring form, netting twice for Towson in a 2-1 win against Campbell University in North Carolina last weekend to become her university’s all-time leading scorer with 31 goals.

Although Bermuda are missing LeiLanni Nesbeth, a reliable source of goals at the Island Games, because of a hip injury, Christopher believes plenty of others in the squad also possess a goal threat.

“We’ve got a lot of players with an eye for goal in the [Bermuda] team – scoring goals should not be a problem for us,” she said.

“My confidence is high, but I’ll keep working hard to achieve my goals.”

Christopher played for Eagle FC in the USL [United Soccer League] W League last summer, scoring 11 goals in 14 matches for the Pennsylvania side and making the USL W Team of the Year.

“I had a great time playing in the USL W and loved my team,” she said. “We all had the same goal and finished top of our division [Mid Atlantic Division] and reached the play-offs. We wanted to go all the way, but that’s football.”

The 22-year-old spent her childhood playing for Dandy Town boys’ teams before switching to girls’ football at age 12.

Her ambition to reach the top remains unaltered since those early days at St John’s Field, with Christopher determined to turn professional once she graduates.

“I remember growing up, there wasn’t even a girls’ team – I ended up playing with the boys,” she added.

“That’s been my goal since I started playing – I’ve always wanted to go pro. I’m getting closer to the point when that could happen.”

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