TORONTO – Toronto FC believe they have struck gold with the signing of Bermuda international Reggie Lambe on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old midfielder was a player on whome TFC director of player development Paul Mariner had kept a close eye. And once Lambe was released by English Championship side Ipswich Town at the end of last season, the Reds decided to act.
“I’ve been tracking Reggie Lambe for years, ever since he was at my old club Ipswich,” Mariner told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday.
When Mariner saw that Lambe became a free agent, he approached TFC head coach and technical director Aron Winter and arranged a training stint for the player.
Mariner said it wasn’t really trial but rather a matter of the player and the club getting to know each other.
“It took Aron all of 20 minutes to work out that he's got something,” Mariner said of the Bermudan.
Lambe, who has 12 caps for Bermuda, is as speedy as they come, and the Reds hope he can add some electricity to the team’s attack.
“He will play wide on the right and wide on the left,” Mariner explained.
His signing could be the start of a new trend for TFC.
“We see lots of potential in Bermuda,” said Mariner. “There’s a lot of very, very good young players – [that are] 14, 15, 16 [years old]”
The problem for the Bermudan youngsters is that they don’t always have the chance to fully develop their potential, something Mariner said Toronto might be able to help solve in the future.
“It’s something that we’re exploring,” he said. “There are some unbelievable athletes. The infrastructure is not quite there to have the players progress ... The outlooks for them are very limited and we just feel we might be able to fast-track a couple of guys further down the line and that we can help TFC and hopefully help international football.”