Kenny Thompson knows the importance of self-discipline to stay in shape. * Photo by Ras Mykkal
Kenny Thompson knows the importance of self-discipline to stay in shape. * Photo by Ras Mykkal

Self-discipline, respect for the game and others and a winning attitude are some of the attributes Kenny Thompson intends to instil in his players at BAA.

The former Bermuda International was recently appointed as BAA’s director of football and part of his remit is to return the inaugural FA Cup winners to the lofty heights they enjoyed in the 1950s.

Speaking at length on his new role at the Pembroke club for the first time, Thompson said: “Our immediate aim is to show consistent improvement toward being more competitive in the First Division, which puts us in a position to seriously challenge for promotion.”

He said a stable base must be developed first. That players must mentally gird themselves to be disciplined and have respect for the game, others and have an appreciation for the importance of thorough match preparation.

Thompson’s primary roles at BAA are to develop a comprehensive strategic plan and enhance the standard of coaching at all levels.

“I am pleased with the passion and motivation shown by the coaches during our interaction thus far,” he added.

At BAA, the former Somerset Eagles player/coach has been reunited with long–serving Bermuda Football Association (BFA) administrator Jon Beard, whom he holds in high esteem.

Thompson said: “I have a huge amount of respect for Jon and I am glad that he is near. Jon continues to serve Bermuda football and the youth of Bermuda — mostly out of the spotlight. His positive outlook, integrity and honesty are personally valued.”

White Hill

During a four-year coaching stint at White Hill Field, Thompson experienced both triumph and despair.

He said: “When I arrived there the team was at the bottom of the First Division and in our first season lost the majority of the matches. Due to inadequate lighting, training sessions where conducted in an area measuring approximately 25 x 20 yards. Yet, despite this, the players regularly attended the training sessions, which set the platform for a promotion challenge in the following season.”

Eagles won a maiden First Division championship and with it promotion to the top tier at the end of the 2008-09 campaign and earlier this year appeared in a first FA Cup final.

The west enders ultimately came up short in their FA Cup bid, losing to Devonshire Cougars in a penalty shootout at the National Sports Centre.

Thompson admitted the heartbreaking loss to Cougars took its toll.

He said: “Words cannot describe my personal disappointment at conceding the equalizer with 40 seconds left in the match, then losing the penalty competition. I was disappointed for the players and the fans, many of whom watched and played a part in my growth as a son of White Hill. But these things happen in sport.”

The highly certified coach is an admirer of Dutch football and, as such, is delighted to see them reach a third FIFA World Cup final.

“I am pleased that the Netherlands are doing well and this is a big chance for them to win,” he said. “I have been impressed by the quality of the tournament, from the host nation South Africa's stadiums, pitches and support to the quality of play by all of the teams.”