Bonaire will take to the field for the first time in over a year on Thursday when they meet Suriname in the semi-finals of the 2013 ABCS Tournament.
|Base...Bonaire have been training at the Stadion di Playa|
The competition was first held in 2010 and features 4 Dutch-speaking Caribbean teams, namely Bonaire and 3 FIFA members Aruba, Suriname and Curaçao. The latter will host the event in their capital Willemstad after Bonaire pulled out of staging the finals earlier this year.
Having recently been accepted into CONCACAF Bonaire will be looking to demonstrate their progress after a disappointing 8-0 loss to Suriname in last year’s semi’s, followed by a 9-2 thrashing by Curaçao in the bronze medal match.
In 2010 Bonaire also finished last but were shock winners in 2011 when they toppled Aruba on penalties to claim a sensational gold medal. Despite this they will start the 2013 as outsiders.
The team last year was mainly made up of SV Estrellas players, complimented by a handful from other clubs on the island. The side is expected to be more of a true representative one this time around as the Bonaire Football Federation cast one eye on the 2014 Caribbean Cup, the draw for which is expected to take place in December.
|Rout...Romeo Jomena scores in the 8-0 thrashing last year|
27-year old forward Kenneth Kunst will be the non-FIFA sides’ best hope of a goal with the former Netherlands Antilles international Bonaire’s record-scorer with 2, including 1 in the 2011 final. André Piar is capable of chipping in from midfield but the defence, where Rolando Janzen is key, is likely to be the most stretched area.
Prior to the 8-0 drubbing last year Bonaire also met the Surinamese in the semi-finals in 2010, when they put in a fine performance going down 4-2. However with a population of 17,000 compared to Suriname’s total of 566,846 an upset is unlikely, although the non-FIFA side have been training at their Stadion di Playa home in Kralendijk since October 28th.
Updates and reports on the scarcely documented competition will be available via our Twitter account and blog.
Thursday 16th – Semi-finals: Bonaire vs. Suriname (20:00) and Curaçao vs. Aruba (22:00).
Saturday 18th – 3rd-place match and final.