Having won two major trophies already this season, Caledonia AIA have set their sights firmly on landing the 2012-2013 Digicel Pro League as well.
Caledonia won the First Citizens Cup in October and also successfully defended their FA Trophy title on Friday night, midfielder Keyon Edwards (32nd) and Akim Armstrong (69th) scoring the goals that gave them a 2-0 victory over Central Football Club at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
Three FA Trophy victories in five years is not a bad achievement by Caledonia. But coach Jerry Moe says the club has even greater ambitions.
"Most important is that we want to win the Pro League because we have never won it before," declared Moe. For him however, the third FA Trophy win was special because of the challenges Caledonia have faced this season.
"We began the season with one team and then had to switch to another because of all the players who went abroad on trial (ten). We also didn't have a ground to train on. Right now we training on a cricket ground, and we have to thank the people of Santa Cruz for embracing us and allowing us to train there," he said.
Caledonia got a little redemption in beating the in-form "Sharks", newcomers to the Pro League, who have been in excellent form under English coach Terry Fenwick. The Englishman has assembled a formidable team containing Antiguan Peter Byers, Anthony Wolfe, Marvin Oliver, Jason Marcano among others. But Caledonia were able to make an impact, even using many of the players who were on the bench early in the season.
Both teams had early chances Friday. First, the Antiguan "Shark" Byers forced Caledonia's Grenadian goalkeeper Shemel Louision into action, and he also hit wide near the end of the first half.
Finally though, Edwards, who broke into the Trinidad and Tobago national team during last year's Caribbean Cup series, gave the "Eastern Stallions" the lead in the 32nd minute when he pressured goalie Phillip, stole the ball and scored from an angle.
The football was both physical and confrontational at times.
Having missed an earlier chance, Tobago striker Trevin Caesar made a better effort at goal early in the second half and would have given "Cali" a second goal, except for a match-saving stop by Phillip. For all their hustle and bustle, the "Sharks" rarely broke Caledonia's defence. But midfielder Darrell Mitchell should have pulled them level in the 57th, but volleyed wide a headed pass from Justin Fojo with the keeper at his mercy.
Finally, Armstrong benefitted from good attacking play from Edwards to get Caledonia a second goal in 69th minute. Edwards' run sent the ball running into Armstrong's path and he curled it through a tangle of legs and also beat Phillip in goal.
Moe felt afterwards that defending was a key component in retaining the FA Trophy.
"One of the most important (things) we did in this game is that we defended the set pieces. When Central beat us
3-2 a week ago, they scored from three set pieces. We did not allow them that this time," he said.
FA TROPHY FINAL:
CALEDONIA AIA 2 (Keyon Edwards 32 , Akim Armstrong 69) CENTRAL FC 0
CALEDONIA AIA: 1.Shemel Louision; 12.Kareem Joseph, 21.Densill Theobald (28.Sheldon Holder 74); 4.Colin Nelson, 2.Aubrey David; 20.Akeem Thomas (3.Nuru Muhammad 67), 17.Akim Armstrong, 7.Stephan David (captain), 22.Miguel Romeo; 9.Keyon Edwards, 6.Trevin Caesar.
Unused substitutes: 33.Glenroy Samuel, 5.Aquil Selby, 16.Odelle Armstrong, 26.Vurlon Mills, 27. Nathan Lewis.
Coach: Jerry Moe.
CENTRAL FC: 1.Marvin Phillip (captain); 16.Carey Harris, 34.Fabien Lewis (30.Weslie John 50), 3.Keion Goodridge, 19.Adrian Noel; 25.Justin Fojo (20.Darryl Trim 70), 21.Darren Mitchell (7.Hayden Tinto 70), 9.Anthony Wolfe,
32. Jason Marcano, 14.Peter Byers. Unused substitutes: 13. Shane Mattis, 6. Marc Leslie,
15. Sayid Freitas,
17. Jameel Neptune.
Coach: Terry Fenwick.
Referee: Neal Brizan