Bermuda sports blogging

Props to the Bermuda Sun for initiating the first local blog geared to sports discussion, Talk Sport Bermuda. With everyone from the politician to the person on the street having an opinion of some sort (mostly negative, these days) about what's happening to our so-called "national sports", this avenue to gather up public thought and debate on Bermuda sport is much welcomed.

One of the first items that's made me think was the Club vs Country discussion that began when a local club coach wanted some of his players to skip one week of national squad training because the club is in line to win up to four domestic trophies this season. A local cricketer took issue with that line of thought.

It's interesting because it's a situation where the national team isn't slated to play their next World Cup qualifier for some weeks while the domestic season is nearing its climax. Big nations such as England don't make players train on a weekly basis before their Euro qualifier, for instance. Now, FIFA has mandated that players should be released for international duty and the BFA would probably be correct to insist that players show up for training.

Unlike the big countries however, our league is strictly amateur. These guys have to work for a living, perhaps on weekends too. For them to have to train as much as demanded is overkill. And there's probably some truth to the sentiment that many of these players don't have any dreams of competing in the World Cup Finals, but would love to hoist the local FA Cup trophy.

Unfortunately this is the kind of ammunition that clubs in Europe used when 'denying' players time to represent their country in qualifiers because they were from a 'no-hope' country. Happens all the time for us small island countries that are fortunate to have a player or two gifted and fortunate enough to play professionally in a European league or the MLS.

Is there a parallel to Cup Match and international cricket? Most likely, but that's another day. I think that the request itself was simple enough because it was only one day and well before the actual international match is concerned. I think the Gazette blew it out of proportion with such a fiery headline, to be honest. But it's served as a good launching pad for this new sports blog.

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