It was a noisy, successful start to Digicel Pro League life for Point Fortin Football Club (Formerly Point Fortin Civic Centre). They won 4-1 over Police at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on Friday night, drew a crowd, and played some good football as well. Their future is hopeful
Civic Centre brought out their artillery, and their people seem to follow as well. Andre Toussaint and Mathew Bartholomew, once starters at W Connection, both netted. So too did Marcus Joseph, formerly of Joe Public, who recently visited Saudi Arabia with the Trinidad and Tobago national senior team. Add former T&TEC striker Sylvester Teesdale, and in short time Civic Centre have organised a very competitive team.
“All these players are from Point. These guys come from the different villages,” Civic Centre manager Ken McCrea said. “They always wanted to come back to play and have been in our programme at some time or the other.”
It couldn’t have been a better start for Civic Centre.
Toussaint, who was with Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA last season, opened the scoring in the 16th minute, finishing from close up after Bartholomew re-directed Joseph’s cross his way. Joseph then made it 2-0 in the 36th when his powerful shot deflected inside Police keeper Adrian Foncette’s near post. And two minutes later, Bartholomew curled the ball inside the far post, for the first of his two goals on the night. The rhythm section blared and fans were dancing.
“All these people last night were Point people. That is what we can bring to the Pro League,” McCrea declared. “We can bring out our people. Point people have been starved of football. They want rhythm sections, they want flag, they want entertainment.”
It couldn’t have been a better start for Point.
The second half saw the teams better matched. Police pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute when Todd Ryan headed in a free kick to take the score to 3-1. But Bartholomew finished off the lawmen in the 84th when successfully converting a penalty. Referee Larry Lalchan immediately pointed to the penalty spot after Teesdale was fouled by Police defender Karlon Murray, and Bartholomew did the rest.
McCrea felt that his team played a good, technical first half, and believes that they will improve as the season continues, under the guidance of coach Reynold Carrington, a former national team midfielder who did his coaching apprenticeship at three-time Pro champions W Connection.
The start has been good, and Point people seem to like what they see. Civic Centre are now hoping the business community also buys into what they are trying to create.
That Civic Centre are in the Pro League is a brave venture in itself. They do not have major finances, and are a community team. Steve David owns World Wide Safety, and is putting his money where his mouth is. His company’s logo is on their jerseys. Civic Centre have also taken a unique approach to professional football. They do not have the finances to directly contract players, so they have partnered with local contractors to provide employment for some.
“We have gotten support from some of the smaller contractors in the area (in providing work for players),” McCrea said. “The Point Fortin Mayor has also committed to hiring seven players, and they will work with the borough. We have also approached Petrotrin, as the biggest company in the area, to try and start an apprenticeship programme.”