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Leverock, overseas players return to Bermuda to face Barbados

Leverock, overseas players return to Bermuda to face Barbados

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HAMILTON, Bermuda – Former Bermuda captain Danté Leverock had a change of heart about early retirement from international duty after only four weeks and returned to training with the national team.

National coach Kyle Lightbourne confirmed the 29-year-old central defender was back with the national set-up but would not elaborate.

“Danté is back in training with us,” Lightbourne told the Royal Gazette newspaper. “I can confirm he is back in training and I have nothing else to add.”

It means Leverock is likely to be a part of a strengthened Bermuda unit who next face Barbados in a CONCACAF Gold Cup preliminary-round fixture on July 2 at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The winner take on Haiti or St Vincent and the Grenadines for the right to progress to the group stage.

Leverock, who has won 23 caps and scored five times for Bermuda, declined to comment on the reasons for his abrupt announcement on social media to retire in the middle of a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying campaign.

The six-foot, four-inch defender played in the 6-1 Group B defeat against Canada and 5-0 win over Aruba in March, scoring one of the goals.

But then as Bermuda prepared for a daunting trip to Suriname, which the Gombey Warriors lost 6-0, followed by a disappointing 1-1 draw against the Cayman Islands in Florida, Leverock took to social media to say farewell.

He was back in training with the national squad on Monday night at the National Sports Centre, where he was joined by 30-year-old Bristol City striker Nahki Wells, who missed all of the World Cup campaign to prioritise rest after a busy season in the English Championship.

Other familiar faces that Lightbourne welcomes back are forwards Zeiko Lewis and Justin Donawa, midfielders Reggie Lambe and Milan Butterfield, who had a difficult season at UK club Chesterfield, defender Jaylon Bather from suspension, and relative newcomer Kane Crichlow from injury.

“We have a lot of players that are available that weren’t available for the World Cup,” Lightbourne said. “The team who played in our previous two matches is not the one who will face Barbados.” (CMC)