The Pro Bowl will be contested by all ten local professional teams, but only the new champions will walk away with prizemoney from the winner-take-all competition. After the grand final is played, the winners will earn a huge base-prize put up by Digicel, a share of the gate receipts and the sparkling Digicel Pro Bowl.
The November 17 qualifying round features Police, St Ann’s Rangers, United Petrotrin and FC SouthEnd -- the bottom four teams in the 2009 league. After the early elimination of two of these teams, the final eight will contest the quarter-finals on November 20. Semis will be played on November 27, and the final on Friday, December 4.
’We start with $100,000, and as I said before, the cash venture can increase depending on the crowds which you bring out,’ Pro League Chief Executive Officer Dexter Skeene declared at the launch of the tournament, at the President’s Box, Queen’s Park Oval, yesterday.
’People must want to see you play. Fans don’t care to see the League. They come out to see the players, and high quality football. They come out to see their club.’
Digicel’s Chief Executive Officer Niall Dorrian delivered the feature address at yesterday’s launch.
’It is the creme de la creme tournament of club football and therefore we did not think twice about not only offering support but doing so in a tangible way through a title association.
Finally, there’s nothing left for me to do but to wish the ten teams participating the best of luck. We look forward to presenting one of you on the evening of December 4th with the coveted Digicel Pro Bowl Trophy.’
Players, fans to determine Digicel Pro Bowl $$ prize.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Newsday).
It’s a “winner-takes-all” play-off for the Digicel-sponsored 2009 Pro Bowl tournament with the top eight teams in the TT Pro League expected to battle for over $100, 000 and a trophy.
At a launch at the President’s Box of the Queen’s Park Oval, St James yesterday Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the TT Pro League Dexter Skeene announced that the prize money will be determined by the players, the clubs and the communities.
As such the league will soon launch a community programme that will carry the acronym HOPE — Helping Others as a Priority Everyday. With this programme the communities are expected to adopt the clubs and pledge their support to them during the tournament. The prize money will be the amount received from the gate receipts and the $100,000, courtesy Digicel.
As such the TT Pro League boss urged players to behave themselves in a manner that will be responsible to themselves and families, their clubs and one that will encourage fans to watch the championship.
Skeene said while he agrees that more marketing is needed to bring out the crowds at matches, the players also have a critical role to play. This by conducting and marketing themselves in a way that will encourage the fans to come out and see them play.
According to Skeene, the TT Pro Bowl has always been the best tournament in the country and this year he is expecting the best tournament ever.
Meanwhile defending champions W Connection have drawn pole position four in Group “B”, a position that will see them go up against arch rivals Bmobile Joe Public— this year’s league champions which were drawn in position two, Ma Pau FC and either Police or United Petrotrin, who are to be involved in qualifiers for the seven and eighth positions in the Pro Bowl.
In Group “A” San Juan Jabloteh will renew their rivalry with Caledonia AIA, the Defence Force and either FC Southend or St Ann’s Rangers — which will also will be involved in the qualifiers for seventh and eighth.
With Tobago United opting out of the Digicel Pro Bowl, needing time to sort out administrative work, the qualifiers will take place among the bottom four teams— namely United Petrotrin, FC Southend, Police and St Ann’s Rangers.
It will begin with a double header at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella on Tuesday. In the first match Petrotrin will face Police while Rangers and FC Southend will square-off in the other.
The semi-finals of the tournament will take place November 27 at venues to be decided while the final is carded for December 4.
Digicel’s CEO Niall Dorian said it is because of the commitment to football matches and the passion for sports in the Caribbean that continue to urge his company to be the biggest sponsors of football in the region.
The Digicel boss also said that his company has, this year, agreed to take its sponsorship beyond just funding. As such it will host a media competition where prizes will be given out for the best Pro Bowl story as well as the “Best Coverage” of the of the tournament. More information is expected to be released on the competition soon.
Digicel has also decided to get football fans involved in the tournament by means of special prizes through either Top-Ups or by attending the matches.
Dorian urged the public to come out in support of the tournament and concluded by saying that he awaits the evening of December 4 when he will present the winning team with the Pro Bowl Trophy.