....Point Fortin, W Connection South derby on Saturday
Ian Prescott firstname.lastname@example.org
A much-anticipated first South derby between Directv W Connection and Point Fortin Civic FC is on this Saturday in the form of First Citizens Cup quarter-final which kicks off from 3.30 p.m. at Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin.
Yesterday, the 2013 edition of Trinidad and Tobago’s most popular cup competition was launched at the VIP Lounge, Hasely Crawford Stadium, where the mouth-watering quarter-final showdown was announced.
Both teams are also currently unbeaten and joint Pro League leaders and one of them is definitely going to lose their unbeaten tag, and go out of the competition early.
“They (Point players) wanted this showdown,” Point Fortin manager Ken McCrea declared yesterday. “They are excited about it.”
W Connection have provided high standards in the First Citizen Cup, winning six times and were also twice runners-up. Meanwhile, Pro League newcomers Civic FC have brought a new excitement to local football. Point brings with them a crowd, music, flags, strong football and a generally good atmosphere. Mahaica is expected to be packed.
The match-up also has added ingredients, apart from both teams simply battling to be the best in South. Civic Centre, former members of the old National Football League, are playing professional football for the first time and have assembled a team containing several recent W Connection members. But the Point Fortin manager insists that they have not raided their rivals. Instead, McCrea argues that Point Fortin talent had built W Connection over the years, and that some of these players have simply returned home to play for their village team.
“W Connection got built with our players,” McCrea said. “So it will be a good match up.”
Another attractive match-up is the quarter-final clash between defending champions Caledonia AIA and Pro League champions Defence Force—the team they defeated in last year’s final.
Following 2-1 defeats of T&TEC and Defence Force respectively in 2011 and 2012, champs Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA will be looking to win the First Citizens Cup for a third straight year and also collect the $100,000 first prize.
There is also a competitive clash between North East Stars and Central FC, two teams known for hardworking “blue collar” football. This year’s tournament begins tomorrow with a double-header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch, First Citizen official Warren Sookdar confirmed the bank’s continued association with Pro League football, while T&T Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene described the bank as a long-term and faithful partner.
“For the past 11 years, First Citizens has had the privilege of partnering with a League that continues to develop the raw talent of our nation’s youths and it is with great pride today I confirm our commitment for the 12th year,” stated Sookdar, chief information officer, information technology desk, First Citizens.
“We thank them for being the first partner and continuing with us throughout the year of professional football,” Pro League CEO Skeene said. “That they remain unwavering in their support of the Pro League is deeply appreciated and respected by all of us.”