With no money at stake for the winners, Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA will be hoping to use the motivation of a chance to join an illustrious group of clubs to have won back-to-back T&T Football Federation FA Trophy titles when it comes up against Pro League newcomers and first time finalist Central FC in the final at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, from 8 pm tonight.
Over the previous 82 editions of the competition which was first held in 1927 and won then by the now defunct Shamrock (three-time champions), seven clubs have won consecutive FA Trophies.
They include four-time winners Everton (1929–32), three-time champions Colts (1944–45), six-time champs United British Oilfields Trinidad (1950–51), joint record seven-time holders Malvern United (1960–61) and Maple Club (1970–72) as well as two-time victors Aviation Services Limited (ASEL) Sports Club (1982–83), and three-time champions Direct TV W Connection (1999–2000).
Last year, Caledonia won its second FA trophy 1-0 over Defence Force via an 81st minute strike from Devorn Jorsling to add to its 2008 triumph, a 3-2 win over W Connection.
This time, Caledonia coach Jerry Moe will have to do without Jorsling who has since returned to his job as a Defence Force member while Radanfah Abu Bakr, Walter Moore, Ataullah Guerra, Trayon Bobb, Daniel Wilson, Cornelius Stewart and Conrad Smith are all overseas.
In their absence, the club recruited goalkeeper Shemel Louision, Jamille Boatswain, Akeem Thomas, Miguel Alejandro Romeo, and Shemol Trimmingham in the January transfer window and the quintet have settled in nicely at the club, helping it to second spot on the Digicel Pro League following a hard fought 3-2 win over St Ann’s Rangers on Saturday last and keen to pick up some prestigious silverware.
During the pre-match conference on Wednesday, Moe said the final would be an important encounter as his team wants to keep hold of the title it won last year by defeating Defence Force.
While Central will be playing in its first FA final, a number of players in the squad have been in finals in the past, led by goalkeeper and captain Marvin Phillip, Keion Goodridge, Anthony Wolfe, Carey Harris, Hayden Tinto and Jason Marcano with their former clubs, and coach Terry Fenwick, himself a former champion with San Juan Jabloteh, will no doubt be banking on them to step up when the match kicks off.
Road to the final
Caledonia 8 (Trevin Ceasar 48th, 51st, 75th, Odelle Armstrong 8th, 52nd, Trayon Bobb 12th, 38th, Sheldon Holder 2nd) vs Petit Valley Utd 0
Central FC 4 (Cyrano Glen 67th, 86th, 91st, Carey Harris 22nd) vs Malabar FC 3 (Shurwayne Morris 14th, Stevon Stoute 44th, Shandel Samuel 48th)
Caledonia 1 (Aubrey David) vs Joe Public (EFA) 0
Central Fc 2 (Anthony Wolfe 51st, Daryl Trim 62nd) vs Police 1 (Kareem Perry 15th)
Caledonia 1 (Sheldon Holder 55th) vs Stokely Vale (Super League) 0
Central FC 2 (Tyronne Charles 78th, Quincy Charles 88th) vs Shiva Boys (SSFL) 0
Central FC 1 (Marvin Oliver 76th) vs T&TEC 0
Caledonia 2 (Sheldon Holder 70th, Sherron Joseph 80th) vs North East Stars 1 (Elijah Manners 48th)
T&TFF FA final teams from
Central FC: Marvin Phillip (gk,capt.), Keion Goodridge, Anthony Wolfe, Marvin Oliver, Peter Byers, Carey Harris, Jameel Neptune, Hayden Tinto, Justin Fojo, Jason Marcano, Johan Peltier, Darrell Mitchell, Cyrano Glenn, Fabien Lewis.
Coach: Terry Fenwick.
Caledonia AIA: Shemel Louision (gk), Stephan David (capt.), Aubrey David, Collin Nelson, Trevin Caesar, Jamille Boatswain, Keyon Edwards, Kareem Joseph, Akim Armstrong, Nical Stephens, Akeem Thomas, Miguel Alejandro Romeo, Nathan Lewis, Sheldon Holder, Glenroy Samuel (gk), Aquil Selby, Odelle Armstrong, Shemol Trimmingham, Sherron Joseph.
Coach: Jerry Moe.