The second of three rounds of the Pro League football begins today with leaders W Connection meeting second-placed Police in a top-of-the-table clash (6 p.m.) at the Hasely Crawford Stadium (HCS).
Ambitious North East Stars head coach Angus Eve will be hoping that W Connection drop points, and that his team could escape from Mahaica Oval with a win tomorrow over Point Civic FC, who edged them 1-0 in a thriller three months ago at the HCS.
Eve has ambitions of qualifying the Darryl Mahabir- owned, Sangre Grande-based Stars for the Concacaf Champions League, by finishing in the top two positions. Already, last season’s league winners Defence Force and runners-up Caledonia AIA have secured spots for the Caribbean qualifiers towards the 2014-2015 Concacaf Champions League. It means that if the Stars were to finish in the top two of this season’s league, they would have to wait until the Caribbean qualifiers for the 2015- 2016 Concacaf Champions League.
“We want to finish in the Concacaf Champions League spots (this season),” Eve said in an interview with ttproleague.com, “There is still time for teams to catch W Connection. I think the stop-start in the season doesn’t help. But I think the mini pre-season that we just had during the Christmas break has helped in strengthening our squad and also to strengthen some of the areas we were a little bit weak in,” Eve said.
The North East Stars head coach is looking for an improved showing from his team, sporting three new recruits heading into tomorrow’s match against Civic.
“For me, we started the season all over. That’s what I’m telling my players. The first game we played against (Point Fortin), they beat us 1-0 off one of our free kicks. After we slipped on the scoring opportunity, they went and scored on the other end. It was a tight game. Now it’s at their home ground and I know they will have a good support. We just have to keep the crowd quiet and if we can get the crowd to turn on them, then their players will have the anxiety to deal with and the pressure would be on them rather than on us.”
Eve signed three footballers during the December-January transfer window—midfielders Keron Cummings (Rangers) and Chike Sullivan (San Juan Jabloteh), and striker Lemuel Lyons (San Juan Jabloteh).
“In the early parts of the season we had a lot of problems in terms of strikers and attacking players,” explained Eve. “I think we have now solved that problem adding young (Lemuel) Lyons from Jabloteh. We’ve also got Keron Cummings, a very talented midfielder, and also Chike Sullivan. So we are good in that.”
“I’ve set my target at five players in this transfer window (which runs from December 26 to January 24). We’ve got three out of five. I still need a Willis Plaza type (forward) and a Daneil Cyrus type (defender). If I could get those two types of players, then we would have a complete squad to finish off the season” Eve said.
LOCAL FOOTBALL RESULTS:
(BMOBILE NATIONAL SUPER LEAGUE)
(Wednesday, Jan 8)
Malabar FC 4 (Keston Pierre – 17th Min, Jameel Neptune – 41st , Gorian Highley – 56th, Cyrano Glen – 72nd ) 1976 FC Phoenix 0
Club Sando 4 (Anthony Parris – 15th, Kerron Smith – 55th, Teba Mc Knight – 58th, Devon Modeste – 70th) Stokely Vale FC 0
Guaya United 4 (Russell Alfred – 2nd, Jody Allsop – 6th, Kheelon Mitchell – 38th, Carlon Hughes – 82nd) Westside Superstarz FC 0
(DIGICEL PRO LEAGUE)
6 (p.m.) - Police FC vs W Connection, Hasely Crawford Stadium
8 (p.m.) - Caledonia AIA vs Central FC, Hasely Crawford Stadium
(Sat, Jan 11)
3.30(p.m.) - St Ann’s Rangers vs San Juan Jabloteh, Larry Gomes
3.30 (p.m.) - Point Fortin Civic vs North East Stars, Mahaica Oval
DIGICEL PRO LEAGUE STANDINGS:
P W D L GF GA GD Points
Direct TV W Connection 8 6 2 0 17 3 14 20
Police FC 8 4 1 3 14 11 3 13
North East Stars 8 4 1 3 9 6 3 13
Defence Force 8 4 1 3 15 14 1 13
Caledonia AIA 8 3 3 2 15 10 5 12
Central FC 8 3 3 2 12 10 2 12
Point Fortin Civic FC 8 3 0 5 9 14 -5 9
San Juan Jabloteh 8 2 1 5 15 21 -6 7
St Ann’s Rangers 8 1 0 7 11 28 -17 3