KRALENDIJK, Bonaire -- Yurick Seinpaal may only be 23 years old, but he’s already become a veteran presence on the Bonaire national team.
“I’ve been here since the beginning,” Seinpaal said in an interview with Concacaf.com, referring to Bonaire’s entry into the Confederation in 2013.
The island’s all-time leading scorer commented on the impact the Nations League has had in raising the standard of the game in Bonaire. “Before this, we had a few games against Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Those are big names. We did our best; we didn’t win, but we gained a lot of experience from the qualifiers and we realized this isn’t a little boys’ game anymore, so we started taking training more seriously.”
Seinpaal says the standard of the domestic league is improving too, especially recently with the introduction of the Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield, which he believes has raised the intensity and the stakes of domestic play.
“With the Champions going to the Club Shield, and the second-place team going to the ABC Cup against teams from Curacao and Aruba, there’s a lot more to do and the league is a little more intense, and everyone wants to finish first or second to get more games against top teams,” said Seinpaal.
For Seinpaal and the rest of the Bonaire squad, to Follow the Dream means one thing: “The ultimate dream is to reach the Gold Cup. I think that’s what most of the teams here dream of, to be like Curacao.” Bonaire’s neighbors had an inspirational run at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup when they reached the quarterfinals and battled with the United States.
But there are a lot of steps to go before fulfilling that dream.
“For now, the main thing is to get out of League C and reach the next round. The goal is to win the next two games and get promoted to League B,” said Seinpaal.
Bonaire have one more match each against the British Virgin Islands and The Bahamas, with the group still completely wide open.