“We are not playing just for the Joe Public football club,” said Joe Public head coach Derek King ahead of Thursday’s CONCACAF Champions’ League preliminary round second leg tie against Costa Rican club Brujas from 8pm at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
He continued, “We are playing for Trinidad (and Tobago) and the rest of the Caribbean. And we want Trinidad and Tobago to come out and support us. This is our home advantage and the public must support this.”
Public head into Thursday’s match with the away goals advantage after registering a 2-2 draw against the Costa Rican side last week Tuesday through goals by Kerry Baptiste and Trent Noel.
“I felt that our players gave one hundred percent and our performance was creditable,” explained King. “Although we allowed two soft goals, we put the ball down and played our game and got the positive result.”
King who served as assistant coach to Barbadian Keith Griffith in the 2008-2009 CONCACAF Champions’ League Group Stage is no stranger to the tournament. He said that the opportunity is present for players to show themselves to the world with the CCL games being aired worldwide.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to do well in this tournament and more so for the players. These games will be aired on FOX Sports and ESPN and this is the opportunity to maybe earn themselves contracts abroad,” said King.
In the 2008-2009 CCL Group Stage Joe Public were drawn with Atlante, Olimpia, and Montreal Impact finishing with a 1-0-5 record—their only victory coming against Mexican club Atlante in Cancun 1-0.
In 2009 Guyanese forward Gregory Richardson signed with Colorado Rapids in the MLS after impressing during the preliminary round of the CCL for Joe Public with a hattrick that helped the Lions eliminate MLS club New England Revolution 6:1 on aggregate. He now plays for Carolina RailHawks in the USSF Division 2 Professional League.
Joe Public looking towards its second CCL Group Stage remains very confident.
“We are confident coming off a 2-2 draw away from home,” King revealed. “We now have to go out now and attack as a team and defend as a team and once we go out and give one hundred percent, we are going to advance (into the CCL Group Stage).”
Fellow Pro League outfit San Juan Jabloteh will be in action on Wednesday night against home side Club Santos Laguna of Mexico against the odds after suffering a 1-0 defeat last in the first-leg at home.