Tuesday, January 16, 2018

W Connection begin Pro Bowl defence

Just three days after capturing the 2013-2014 Digicel Pro League and its $1 million dollar first prize,  Directv W Connection are also quietly confident of  defending their Digicel Pro Bowl knockout title as well.  

“We like to take  every game step by step. We are not overconfident,  but we have a bit of confidence right now,” said Connection’s well-travelled veteran midfielder Silvio Spann yesterday. 

It is winners-take-all again, as eight Pro League teams begin the battle for the guaranteed $100,000 first prize in the season-ending knockout tournament. W Connection edged North East Stars 4-3 on penalty kicks in last year’s final following a goalless draw.  They will  kick off their defence this time with a quarter-final match-up today against Caledonia AIA — who they beat 5-2 in the 2012 final —  at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, where San Juan Jabloteh and Police will play an earlier quarter-final (6 p.m.). 

There is also an interesting quarter-final double-header at Ato Boldon Stadium, where Defence Force coach Ross Russell promises to unveil some new blood against  Point Fortin Civic in the 6 p.m.. match-up. Later, First Citizens and Lucozade Goal Shield champions Central FC face Nemesis North East Stars.

“I think it has been an exciting season. It has been competitive from start to finish,” said former England international defender Fenwick when the 2014 Pro Bowl was launched yesterday at the President’s Box, Queen’s Park Oval.

“North East Stars  have been a thorn in our side,” Fenwick admitted.”(But) We are one of two teams that have won something this season and we will give it a go at winning something again. “  

Meanwhile, Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene said if the  competitive nature of this season’s  Pro League is anything to go by,  then  the Pro Bowl  should be very good. He specially praised W Connection for winning the Pro League, and Defence Force for pushing them all the way to the penultimate match of the season. The Army overcame the death of players Rawle Fletcher and Kevon Carter, as well as a one-month playing ban imposed in January by national security officials.

“They (Defence Force) still had the resilience to fight back to a position where victory was still possible up to Tuesday night,” Skeene said of the Army team. 

And Wendy Alleyne, Digicel’s sponsorship and promotions manager, also commended the  players for a good, competitive season and pledged her company’s continued support.

“Digicel remains dedicated to the development of football at all levels,” Alleyne said.