The 2017 edition of the Beach Soccer World Cup kicks off today and for the first time a CONCACAF nation will be hosting the event.
The Bahamas was selected as the host nation on December 19th 2014 beating out 11 other countries who also placed bids.
It would not only be the first time the Bahamas has qualified for this event but they would host the most prestigious beach soccer tournament in the world.
The Bahamas from that point has decided to invest in their beach soccer program.
The Bahamas Football Association have put on numerous beach soccer tournaments in the past few years: CONCACAF had their 2013 world cup qualifier at the old Malcolm Park Beach soccer complex, there was also the Lucayan Cup which featured fellow World Cup Qualifying team Mexico, and the the winners of the tournament Trinidad and Tobago. They also hosted Switzerland in a 2 game friendly where they were able to play one of the top teams in the world on home soil.
The team has also traveled to Europe, to practice with the Swiss team, and traveled to Argentina to play multiple friendlies to keep their skill up.
Team Captain Gavin Christie knows its been a long journey to gear up for the world cup and knows it’s his job to “keep the team encouraged”.
“Every game at this level is a tough game, it doesn’t matter who you play, we have to play our game and play strong to win the game.” said Christie
Lesly Stfleur a fan favorite has yet to let down the Bahamas, accumulating the third most goals (11) in the 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championships, becoming the face of team Bahamas.
The World Cup is a stage in which every soccer player dreams of playing in, but a World Cup played on home soil is a rarity for most players and St Fleur knows that the support from the fans is key.
“It’s a big stage so everyone has to be early before the game, we want them to continuing coming out to support the team and thank you for the support.”
But with hours to go until the ball starts rolling the excitement from the team and team Captain is showing as they just don’t only want to be participate, but want to show the World that the Bahamas is ready to take on any team at any level.
“The team is elated and excited, the is our home and our house so we are ready to represent team Bahamas Thursday Night we just don’t want to be here we want to compete.” said Christie.
The Bahamas’ first game will take place against Switzerland at 8PM.