HANNOVER, New Hampshire– In less than two weeks Bermuda will kick off its 2019/20 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying campaign with a visit to Aruba on September 9.
For players like Bermuda FW Justin Donawa and others around the region, this first ever installment of the CNL is being widely welcomed.
“I’m very thankful that Concacaf has taken this initiative not just for us but other islands like Aruba,” said Donawa in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“It’s a good opportunity for players to improve. It’s a great initiative and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds,” added Donawa, who plays college soccer at Dartmouth College in Hannover, New Hampshire.
In addition to the Aruba match, Bermuda will take on Sint Maarten (Oct. 12), El Salvador (Nov. 16) and the Dominican Republic (Mar. 24).
Donawa feels like Bermuda’s recent contests such as its two-legged series in 2015 against Guatemala (0-1 defeat) in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying for Russia 2018 proves that Bermuda can go toe-to-toe with many others in the region.
“We’re looked at as underdogs but we’re talented. We’ve competed versus countries like Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago. We just need to play our football and fight for one other. The whole country will be watching so we want to show we can compete and improve,” said Donawa.
On a personal level, a stress fracture injury will likely prevent Donawa from playing against Aruba, but the rest of the squad should be ready to go for the CNL opener.
“All the guys have been training, whether on their own or with their clubs. We have a solid group and everyone is on the same page. They’ll be ready,” concluded Donawa.