Vibe CT105 W Connection took the lion's share of awards on Saturday night when the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League held its awards function at the Ambassador Hotel's Mountain View Terrace.
Connection's Brazilian playmaker Gefferson Goulart was adjudged the domestic game's Most Valuable Player, while Goulart and St Lucian club teammate Earl Jean led the league in goals with 14 items each. The only other individual player's award went to CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh and Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Aurtis Whitley for the "Fastest Goal Scored", in recognition of his second minute strike in Round Seven.
Connection, who finished 15 points clear of second placed CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh atop the standings, were named Team of the Year to add to their League, FCB Cup and Toyota Classic Champions titles and Most Disciplined award.
Jabloteh beat Connection to secure the Pro Bowl cup final, while United Petrotrin ended with the Lucozade Sport Big Six crown.
Raymond McLean, Connection's manager, was also adjudged the Team Administrator of the Year.
Petrotrin boss and former national team and "Strike Squad" standout Brian Williams denied his southern rivals a sweep of the major individual trophies as he was selected as the Pro League's Coach of the Year.
Williams, a rookie coach for the 2005 season, was pleased with the award and hopes to go on to bigger things next season.
"As a young coach coming into the Pro League and looking to excel," said the 44-year-old Williams, "it is a great achievement and I welcome it and look forward to doing better next season."
Connection coachÂ Stuart Charles-Fevrier, who stressed that Williams was a personal friend, disagreed with the choice, though, and expressed hurt at the decision.
"I have the utmost respect for the work Brian (Williams) did with the Petrotrin Football Club," Charles told the Daily Express. "But I strongly believe that the level ofÂ consistency, dominance and success from the Connection team was far too great for any other coach to be considered for the Coach of the Year title. Statistics will show that the difference is far too great."
The St Lucia-born coach, who steered the Trinidad and Tobago national team from May 2003 to January 2004 and was twice named the top local coach, pointed out that Connection led the League from start to finish and set a record by their margin of victory.
They ended, he noted, 31 points clear of sixth placed Petrotrin and scored the most goals while conceding the least.
"Personally, I find Brian did a good job but not enough to be coach of the year," said Charles. "I am not fighting it because I won it twice already but it is grossly unfair. If I work hard and I deserve it, give it to me.
"You give the players credit, you give the manager credit, you give the team credit but you can't give me credit for anything. It is like they are saying that my team ran on auto-pilot and IÂ feel as though my work was rejected."
Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene explained that the decision was made by the League's ten match commissioners based on performance, improvement and discipline. The performance of each team was marked out of 50 with 35 for improvement and 15 for discipline.
"I am not surprised from the criteria used," said Skeene. "You have to look at the resources (of each coach)Â and what they achieved."
Williams, who worked as Charles' assistant on the national outfit, was philosophical about the award.
"Sometimes when people have to make decisions, it doesn't go your way," said the Rastafarian coach. "But it is difficult to believe in the judgment of man. Your good work is more important than what man thinks of you. We have to continue the work."
The Pro League is expecting its most exciting season this year in reaction to the national team's qualification for the 2006 World Cup.
At the awards ceremony, Pro League chairman Larry Romany highlighted the progress of the present board in statistics.
He declared that attendances shot up from 25,000 fans to 150,000 since his administration took charge in 2003, while sponsorship rose from $120,000 to in excess of $1 million, exclusive of government funding.
The board plans to further integrate the League into the communities by developing eight community fields within a three-year period.
Jabloteh should provide the first experiment of this plan's success when the club moves from its Hasely Crawford Stadium base to Cantaro, Santa Cruz.
Skeene shared Romany's enthusiasm for the upcoming season in light of the achievement of the "Soca Warriors".
"Sponsors are calling us now (rather than the other way around)," said Skeene. "Everyone seems to be more enthusiastic now and we have to take advantage of this period to put the Pro League on a good footing."
The 2006 Pro League season starts on April 8.
Apart from the senior players and administrators, the Pro League also honoured its officials on Saturday.
Neal Brizan was adjudged Referee of the Year, with Joseph Taylor as Assistant Referee of the Year and Wayne Caesar as Match Commissioner of the Year.
At youth level, Jabloteh's dominance rivalled Connection's success in the adult ranks.
The Bourg Mulatrasse boys won the Under-16 and Under-18 League titles and First Knock Out crowns, as well as the Under-16 Second Knock Out title. The only other trophy at stake, the Under-18 Second Knock Out crown, went to Tobago United.
In the individual stakes, Jabloteh's Elton John was the Under-18 division MVP, while teammate Khaleem Highland copped the corresponding Under-16 gong, as well as his division's Leading Goal Scorer accolade.
Jabloteh's Christopher Reyes' third minute item in Round Seven was the Fastest Goal in Under-16 competition.
Connection's Matthew Bartholomew led the Under-18 goal scorers with 18 items, while his teammate Dion Garcia got the division's Fastest Goal with a first minute strike.
FIFA technical committee member and former national coach and player, Alvin Corneal, delivered the night's feature address on professionalism and Pro League secretary Julia Baptiste gave the vote of thanks.
Witty television presenter and comedian Errol Fabian chaired the night's proceedings.