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Sun, Jun

W Connection confident of First Citizens Cup defence, welcomes new round-robin format.
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“We are ready since our last game (last Friday’s 7-1 Charity Shield win over Pro League championship holders North East Stars),” W Connection assistant coach Earl Jean told today’s (Wednesday) gathering during the launch of the 2018 First Citizens Cup at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.

Eight-time winners W Connection, two-time former winners Morvant Caledonia United, Point Fortin Civic, North East Stars and Police FC were drawn into Abercrombie Group, while former winners San Juan Jabloteh, Defence Force FC and Central FC, and Police FC and MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers will contest Paria Group.

This, for the first time in the tournament’s almost two-decade history, clubs will contest each other in a round-robin format to determine the semi-finalists.

The top two finishers from each group at the end of group play will advance to the semi-final round on 13 July with the Abercrombie winners facing Paria runners-up and Paria winners against Abercrombie runners-up for a place in the final on 20 July.

Connection, who defeated three-time former winners Defence Force in last season’s final, will begin their title defence against Point Fortin Civic on Friday from 8:30pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in the second game of the opening Abercrombie double-header after North East Stars and Police FC clash from 6:30pm.

Match Day One Group play will continue on Sunday with a Paria double-header at the same Ato Boldon Stadium with MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers taking on Central FC from 4pm and San Juan Jabloteh against Defence Force from 6pm.

Jean said the new format will benefit clubs and fans with more games. The former St. Lucia international also said it will give teams the opportunity to face each other ahead of the League championship which will begin in July.

The Connection assistant coach and ex-star forward also praised First Citizens commitment to the competition, which dates back to 2001, as “resilient”.

Larry Olton, head brand and marketing at First Citizens, said, “In the face of these (economic) challenges it is our fervent belief in and understanding of the value of sport to our youth, and more broadly, to national and social development, that First Citizens Group remains committed to its role as a stakeholder in the development of sport in Trinidad and Tobago and in particular football.

Olton added, “Like all great teams, the First Citizens Group values collaboration. Our partnership with the Pro League has strengthened community sport and national development through football programmes for adults and youths across the country.”

It is also the first time that the Pro League calendar will begin with a Cup tournament and League CEO Julia Baptiste questioned, “(…) who can think of a better sponsor to do it with than First Citizens?”

“First Citizens has been sharing the vision of the Pro League since the League’s inception,” Baptiste continued. “Through thick and thin, through tough times, through those lean times they have remained resilient, steadfast standing with us bearing the flag of indomitable will and the power to survive despite the economic climate.

“First Citizens epitomizes the value, power, spirit and vision of what can be achieved when there is collective focus.”

The First Citizens Cup 2018 promises to be one of the most exciting editions, especially with the new format and eight clubs after W Connection and North East Stars eager to get their campaign off and running.

First Citizens Cup 2018

Groups

Paria:

Club Sando, San Juan Jabloteh, MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers, Central FC and Defence Force FC;

Abercrombie:

Morvant Caledonia United, Point Fortin Civic, North East Stars, Police FC and W Connection.

First Citizens Cup 2018 - Group Play

(Friday 8 June 2018)

North East Stars vs Police FC, 6:30pm, at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Point Fortin Civic vs W Connection, 8:30pm, at Ato Boldon Stadium.

(Sunday 10 June 2018)

MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers vs Central FC, 4pm, at Ato Boldon Stadium;
San Juan Jabloteh vs Defence Force FC, 6pm, at Ato Boldon Stadium.

Morvant Caledonia United & Club Sando (Bye)

Match Day Two
(Date, venue and time to be determined)


Defence Force FC v MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers
Club Sando v San Juan Jabloteh
W Connection v North East Stars
Morvant Caledonia United v Point Fortin Civic

Police FC & Central FC (Bye)

Match Day Three
(Date, venue and time to be determined)


North East Stars v Morvant Caledonia United
Police FC v W Connection
MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers v Club Sando
Central FC v Defence Force FC

Point Fortin Civic & San Juan Jabloteh (Bye)

Match Day Four
(Date, venue and time to be determined)


Morvant Caledonia United v 7
Point Fortin Civic v North East Stars
Club Sando v Central FC
San Juan Jabloteh v MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers

W Connection & Defence Force FC (Bye)

Match Day Five
(Date, venue and time to be determined)


Police FC v Point Fortin Civic
W Connection vs Morvant Caledonia United
Central FC v San Juan Jabloteh
Defence Force FC v Club Sando

North East Stars & 6 (Bye)

Semi-Final Round

(Friday 13 July 2018)

Final

(Friday 20 July 2018)