Helping hand: Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) president Raymond Tim Kee, centre, assists Central United managing director Brent Sancho and Caledonia AIA coach Jerry Moe in holding aloft the prestigious FA Trophy. Defending champions Caledonia AIA and Central United will meet in the long-awaited final from 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. —Photo: Anisto Alves

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Caledonia to defend FA title tomorrow

By Ian Prescott ian.prescott@trinidadexpress.com

For certain, its not going to be a drawn match.

So, expect plenty excitement when the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) hold its 2012 FA Trophy final tomorrow from 8 p.m. at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Champions Caledonia AIA have survived five rounds of football and will be seeking a third FA victory in five years when they take on newcomers Central United "Sharks" in the long-awaited 2012 final which had been pushed back due to fixture congestion at the end of last year.

Prior to the FA Trophy final, the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 men's football team will get some much needed preparation for the 2013 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship to be played in Panama from October April 6- 19. The junior T&T team will engage W Connection Under-17s from 5 p.m. in the first match of the Couva doubleheader.

Of 36 aspirants that began the FA Trophy competition on December 5, 2012, just two Pro League teams remain. Gone are the schoolboy teams St Anthony's College and Carapichaima Secondary; six Pro League teams; all five of the semi-pro National Super League team; as well as the zonal qualifiers.

Yesterday the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation held a press conference at its Ana Street, Woodbrook office to launch the final. There, TTFF president Raymond Tim Kee lamented the fact that no cash prize will be awarded to the champions. However, Tim Kee promised to work toward getting sponsors for the 2013 final and promised corporate entities that he will soon be knocking on their doors.

Yesterday, prizemoney seemed to be the least concern of both finalists.

"Whether money or not, we want to win the title," declared Caledonia AIA coach Jerry Moe. "We are the defending champions and we want to defend our title."

Moe said Caledonia learned a lot from a 3-2 Pro League defeat to Central United a week ago and will be more ready to face them. Recently, Caledonia were affected by the exodus of 10 players who went to Europe on trial.

Missing tomorrow will be key midfielder Ataullah Guerra, who is still abroad, but playmaker Densill Theobald and central defender Nuru Muhammad have returned home and are available.

One of its founding members, Moe said that when Caledonia AIA formed 30 years ago, the goal was to be one of the dominant clubs in Trinidad and Tobago. They won nothing until 2008 when beating W Connection to win the FA Trophy or the first time. Last year, AIA won it again when edging Defence Force 1-0 on a 81st minute Devorn Jorsling goal, and now hope now to complete a hattrick of win.

"We know that Central United will be very physical. You can expect them to be hard-nosed and well prepared under Terry Fenwick, but we will be ready as well," Moe said.

New to club football in T&T and just a few months old, Central United hope to join the 2003 North East Stars as one of the few debutants to win the FA Trophy. They will be without Tobago duo Omar Charles and Rundell Winchester, but English coach Terry Fenwick will have several key players at his disposal, including Antiguan striker Peter Byers, Jason Marcano and Hayden Tinto,

"We played Caledonia a weeks ago and got a very positive result. But when it comes to cup competitions it brings out a different type of animal," stated Brent Sancho, managing director of Central United. "It is our first year in the Pro League and we are proud to be in the final. We are coming to compete, obviously, money or no money".

TOMORROW'S MATCHES:

5 p.m. - Trinidad & Tobago National Men's Under-17 team v W Connection Under-17s, Ato Boldon Stadium

FA TROPHY FINAL

8 p.m. - Caledonia AIA v Central United, Ato Boldon Stadium

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