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Clemons champing at the bit for opener | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda Soccer

Colin Thompson

Published Apr 4, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 4, 2019 at 6:43 am)

Clemons in action during last weekend’s final preseason friendly

Clemons in action during last weekend’s final preseason friendly

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Willie Clemons says he and his Bodens team-mates can not wait to make their long-awaited debut in Sweden’s first division north at the weekend.

Bodens are away to FC Linkoping City at Linkoping Arena on Sunday, where they will be keen to get their campaign off and running on the front foot.

“It’s been a long pre-season and we’re just ready to get going,” Clemons said.

“Every week is different, we’ll take it one game at a time.”

Bodens won the second division title last season to secure promotion to the third tier of Swedish football.

Bermuda midfielder Clemons, who played an integral role in the club’s successful campaign, is confident they can hold their own in the higher division.

“We expect to do well and continue to prove people wrong who think we aren’t good enough,” he added.

“We’ve got a good group, really close. We get along well, which helps on game day.”

Despite his team’s 2-1 home defeat by Umea at Boden Arena in their final pre-season friendly last Saturday, Clemons said there were positives to take from the match.

“It was a really good test for us,” he added. “The match was perfect for the week before the season begins.

“The pre-season has been good. We have made some changes to the system and we are all learning new ways to play.”

Six days before to the friendly, Clemons played a pivotal role in Bermuda’s historic, Concacaf Gold Cup-clinching win away to Dominican Republic.

“I just show up for work, do my job and go home like everyone else,” he said.

The 24-year-old penned a two-year deal with Bodens last April and scored on his debut during his team’s opener away to Hudiksvall.

He went on to score nine goals in 31 league appearances last season and capped it all off by being chosen as the league’s best midfielder.

“I am grateful beyond measure I won the award, but it’s a testament to our team as a whole,” the former Southampton Rangers and BAA player said. “I could not have done it alone and my team-mates are happy for me.”

Clemons is now keen to continue making positive strides in Sweden.

“My first season was good, but it’s a whole new environment, everyone is starting from scratch,” he added.

“The standard is good here. The game is played at a very fast pace and teams like to press and play as well.”

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