Come support a high standard of football says clubs
The TT Pro League is of a high standard was the common sentiment echoed by coaches and players during the launch of the 2011-12 season Digicel Pro Bowl knockout competition, which is the final tournament on the League’s calendar.
“From this final competition of the season, I would hope that the people of Trinidad and Tobago, though they may have reservations, would really come out and take another look to see what the standard is like. And if they do, they would be very impressed,” promised Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh head coach Earl Carter during Wednesday’s launch at the Digicel Corporate Box in the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.
Carter expressed dissatisfaction in the general interpretation of the League by the public and as a result the unsatisfactory games attendances.
“[The Digicel Pro Bowl is a] great opportunity for us to prove to the public of Trinidad and Tobago that the standard of football in the Pro League is at a high level,” conveyed the former T&T international goalie and former US based coach.
“Prior to me coming to this League to coach Jabloteh, the talk has been around town where people were saying that the standard of the football was not encouraging. But I’ve said it before I came into the League to coach Jabloteh and I’m saying it again … the standard of football in this League right now is very consistent, but the problem here is that the attendance is not the way it should be.
And a lot of times we find people making judgment based on a result …a 2-1 loss or a 1-1 draw. People judge the standard of football by that. I’ve heard it from the man on the street and it’s very frustrating. I think it’s not showing the true quality that is being demonstrated at the field of play. Not only from Jabloteh, but from all the teams in the League, I’m very impressed as coach of Jabloteh and looking on at the other teams play.”
Carter is hoping for his first piece of silverware, but more importantly the financial prize of the Digicel Pro Bowl back to the cash-strapped San Juan club he took up the vacant head coach position at last July following the sacking of four-time League winning coach, Englishman Terry Fenwick.
The competition will kick off on Friday 4 May with the quarter-final round at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium and the Hasely Crawford Stadium ; the semi-final round on Friday 11 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and the Final on Friday 18 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium as all eight Pro League clubs vie for the winner takes all cash prize of $100,000.00 and the Digicel Pro Bowl.
TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene also gave club’s a further incentive during Wednesday’s launch, by revealing that a share of the gate receipts will be added to the prize money.
“It is encouraging to see that extra money would be added to the prize and that plays into the hands of Jabloteh,” explained Carter. “So we definitely would be working on improving the attendance of our support [because] this is something that has bothered me.”
Last season’s Pro Bowl finalist W Connection will take on Police FC from 6pm at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium followed by DIRECTV North East Stars against T&TEC FC from 8pm while the Hasely Crawford Stadium quarter-final round double header will see St. Ann’s Rangers take on recently crowned Lucozade Sport Goal Shield winners Caledonia AIA from 6pm Jabloteh against Defence Force from 8pm.
Team captains Jan Michael Williams of W Connection and Defence Force’s Jahvon Neptune both also pleaded with supporters during the launch.
Goalkeeper Williams said, “We would like people to play the part and come and support. The quality of the football in the Pro League is very high and we at W Connection would always try and maintain that.”
While midfielder Neptune called on the soldiers’ supporters saying, “We didn’t win last Friday (in the Final of the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield against Caledonia) but we would like you all to come and support us in this competition.”