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BARBADOS - football

New ‘Rocket man’


- Saturday 29, May-2004

by EZRA STUART

An England-based footballer will make his debut for Barbados when the “Bajan Rockets” take on Northern Ireland in a friendly football international at the National Stadium tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Mark Boyce, 23-year-old defender from Yeovil Town, who played for Norwich’s reserves in 1999 after serving as a trainee with Watford, is the latest player of Barbadian parentage to be recruited for national duty.

Boyce, an overlapping right wing back, has had a number of brief semi-professional attachments with different clubs in England.

He had a stint with Chesham United between 2001 and 2002 before moving to Hayes, Kingstonian and Maidenhead in the Conference Leagues.

After impressing Yeovil’s coaches and scouts during the summer of 2003, Boyce signed for the English Division 3 side last October on a non-contract basis.

He was recommended to the Barbados Football Association by another footballer of Barbadian parentage, Fabian Forde, who played with him at Watford. His father, Orville “Bill” Boyce, was from Boscobelle, St Peter, before he moved to England 40 years ago.

Former national Under-23 captain Romelle Burgess, who plays in the midfield, will get his first chance to play for the senior team this year.

Burgess, who is on a football scholarship at the Southern New Hampshire University, has been training with the national squad for the past two weeks after returning home for the summer break.

This friendly against Northern Ireland is Barbados’ last before hosting St Kitts in the first leg of a home-and-away second-round World Cup qualifying tie on June 13.

Veteran defender Wayne Sobers is on an automatic one-match suspension after he was red-carded in the senior national team’s last game against the Tobago All Stars, but will be back against the Kittitians. Sobers’ absence will force coach Kenville Layne to make some adjustments to his defence.

Dwight James, a tall St Vincent-born central defender who now plays for Notre Dame, is expected to play in front of either Romel Brathwaite or captain John Parris.

The Bajan Rockets went into camp at Dover Beach Hotel from last night ahead of tomorrow’s encounter against the Northern Ireland squad, which is due in the island this afternoon and is expected to train at the Stadium tonight.


Squads: Barbados – Bernard Howell, Adrian Chase, John Parris (captain), Randy Burrowes, Mark Boyce, Romel Brathwaite, Romelle Burgess, Norman Forde, Gregory Goodridge, Kent Hall, Llewellyn Riley, Ryan Lucas, Bryan Neblett, Dwight James, Paul Lovell, Rudy Grosvenor, John Hawkesworth, Kenroy Skinner; Officials – Sherlock Yarde (manager), Wendley Carter (assistant manager), Kenville Layne (coach), Allison John (assistant coach), Michael Gaskin (trainer), Antonio Brandford (equipment manager), Sedia Hinds (medic).


Northern Ireland

Goalkeepers – Maik Taylor (Birmingham City), Michael Ingham (Sunderland).

Defenders – Chris Baird (Southampton), Colin Murdock (Hibernian), Stephen Craigan (Motherwell), Mark Williams (Wimbledon), Tony Capaldi (Plymouth Argyle).

Midfielders – Keith Gillespie (Leicester City), Stuart Elliott (Hull City), Steve Jones (Crew Alexandra), Jeff Whitely (Sunderland), Philip Mulryne (Norwich City), Damien Johnson (Birmingham City), Danny Sonner (Nottingham Forest), Tommy Doherty (Bristol City).

Forwards – David Healy (Preston North End), Andrew Smith (Glentoran), Gary Hamilton (Portadown), Paul McVeigh (Norwich City), James Quinn (Willem II).

Compliments of the Nation News



 

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