By Matt Badcock
Golden beaches, crystal clear water and football. Could it get any better? When England C jetted off to Bermuda in 2013, it would prove to be a memorable experience.
Training in the sun, visiting schools, coaching sessions with locals and even a trip to the governor’s house. But there was also a job to do for Paul Fairclough’s side. The public’s imagination was captured by the game. It was broadcast live and legendary striker Shaun Goater was even in the crowd.
Non-League’s Three Lions were as hot as the weather, however, and turned in a thrilling performance to win 6-0. Antoni Sarcevic and Marlon Jackson put England two ahead inside 21 minutes before James Norwood hit a second-half hat-trick, which was added to by Andre Gray’s late finish.
Looking back it should be no surprise. It featured two future Premier League footballers in Gray and Sam Clucas, while others are League One regulars. Here’s a look back at the Bermuda Boys, who came together for one game only and have all gone on to forge excellent careers.
Main image – back row, left to right
1 Antonic Sarcevic, Plymouth Argyle
A Chester player when he made his one and only England C appearance – in which he scored inside six minutes – Sarcevic was quickly picked up by Fleetwood Town. In his first season he scored 15 goals for the Cod Army, led their assists and was in the League Two Team of the Year. He scored the winning free-kick in the play-off final at Wembley to send them into League One.
Had a spell at Shrewsbury Town and is now at Plymouth Argyle where he’s scored ten goals this season.
2 Andy Cook, Tranmere Rovers (on loan)
Suffered defeat in the play-offs with Grimsby Town and then returned to former club Barrow, who he helped to promotion from the Conference North. After scoring 24 goals back in Non-League’s top flight, he then joined Tranmere Rovers where he struck up a formidable partnership with James Norwood. The pair fired Rovers to promotion back to the Football League in 2018 through the play-offs. Then joined League One Walsall and League Two Mansfield before a move back to Tranmere on loan.
3 Fraser Franks, retired
Having just won Conference South promotion with Welling United, Franks’ first England C game led to four more and also the captaincy. Started the new season with the Wings but in January joined promotion-chasing Luton Town. Played his part in their Conference Premier title win and moved into the League. Had three seasons at League Two Stevenage and then joined Newport County. Captained the Exiles to victory in the FA Cup win against Leicester City but was soon forced to retired with a heart problem. Is now on a Sports Directorship Masters.
4 Andre Gray, Watford
An England C regular, Gray fired 30 goals as Luton Town won the Conference Premier title and was then snapped up by Championship club Brentford. Scored 16 goals in his first season as they made the play-offs before switching to Burnley. Hit 23 goals as they lifted the Championship title to reach the Premier League. Went on to score nine for the Clarets before a move to Watford for £18.5 million and playing in last season’s FA Cup final
5 Ryan Jackson, Colchester United
In the same summer of the Bermuda game, pacy right-back Jackson moved into the League with Newport County. Then jumped up a division to join Gillingham and is now at Colchester United in League Two.
6 Marlon Jackson, Gloucester City
Another of this squad who went onto play in the Football League. First with Bury before returning there with Newport County following spells at Lincoln City, FC Halifax Oxford City and Tranmere Rovers. Now at Gloucester City where he has scored nine goals.
7 Anthony Acheampong, Unattached
Signed full-time for Barnet – like Franks he had just helped Welling to promotion – and later moved to Ebbsfleet United before a Kent switch to Maidstone United, who had just beaten the Fleet in the Conference South play-off final. Won through the Isthmian Premier play-offs with Dulwich Hamlet in 2018.
8 Chris Stokes, Forest Green Rovers
Returned to Forest Green Rovers in January but in the intervening years Stokes has played in League One and League Two. Had real success at Coventry City where he won the EFL Trophy and promotion to League One, before joining beleaguered Bury for a season.
9 Sam Clucas, Stoke City
It’s been some ride for Clucas since his only appearance for England C as he bounced up the English football ladder. First was a season at Mansfield in League Two before a switch to League One with Chesterfield. Hull City then forked out £1.3m fo him and he helped them to promotion into the Premier League. Later joined Swansea City before Stoke City paid £6million for him.
10 Dan Bradley, AFC Fylde
An important player for Alfreton, Bradley later moved to AFC Fylde for a club record fee and scored 18 goals as they won promotion from the National League North. Left for Kidderminster Harriers before returning to Fylde where he played in last season’s play-off final against Salford City.
11 James Norwood, Ipswich Town
An ever-present with England C after this hat-trick, he went close to promotion with Forest Green before achieving it with Tranmere Rovers by scoring the winner in a star display in the promotion final against Boreham Wood. Hit 29 goals in League Two before joining Ipswich Town last summer where he is top scorer.
Front row, left to right
12 Harry Beautyman, Sutton United
The midfielder made one more appearance for England C before joining Peterborough United from Welling. He had three seasons in League One, one of which with Northampton Town, before a brief stay at Stevenage and a return to Sutton United where he’d played earlier in his career.
13 Jonny Hunt, Hamilton Academical
Versatile Hunt has gone on to play for Cambridge United, Mansfield and Stevenage in the Football League, while there was also a period back in Non-League with Chester. Now in Scotland with Hamilton.
14 Mitch Walker, Aldershot Town
Keeper who would go onto make more appearances for England C. Won promotion with Dover Athletic from the Conference South where he helped establish them at Step 1. Joined Aldershot Town last summer where he is the current No.1
15 Preston Edwards, Cheshunt (on loan)
A real staple of England C squads over the years, Edwards was at Ebbsfleet for his England appearances but later joined Boreham Wood and then onto Dulwich, who he helped to promotion to the National League South. Currently on loan at Cheshunt and a maths teacher who is offering online tutorials for kids in the coronavirus crisis.
16 Mickey Demetriou, Newport County
Got his chance in the Football League with Shrewsbury Town in League One before, following a loan stint at Cambridge United, making the move to Newport County in 2017. Helped their Great Escape in 2017 before helloing them to the play-off final in 2019, where they lost to Tranmere.