Frustrated by not being accepted into the T&T Super League, a few clubs are now holding discussions to form a renegade Community Football League that is expected to rival the T&T Super League (TTSL).
Gordon Pierre of Petit Valley Diego Martin United, Gregory Mc Sween of Harlem Strikers and Steve Fredericks of Real Maracas are among those taking steps to ensure the League gets going and the communities are well served.
Fredericks, the Real Maracas assistant coach, said they are already in talks with a few interested sponsors.
The League he said, will not be about winning but rather bringing communities together and ensuring that young people are given something to do, instead of engaging in crime. Fredericks also believes their league will receive the support from the parent T&T Football Association as it will have a similar mandate to build a nation through football.
He is now hoping that government sees the League as a worthwhile venture and lend a helping hand. The League is tentatively set for kick-off in July and interested clubs are being asked to pay a registration fee of $15,000 which will go towards prizes, payment of referees and running the tournament. Pierre, whose Petit Valley Diego Martin United is into the 13-team super league this year, said the League will be run on a home and away format and each game will be treated as a major community-building exercise that will include entertainment from soca artists and other.
The biggest challenge for the clubs currently is getting someone to properly manage its affairs. Tony Harford, who previously managed then National Super League in the past, turned down the job due to a previous engagement, Pierre said.
Ten clubs, WASA, Real Maracas, Defence Force, Harlem Strikers, Perseverance United, 1976 Phoenix, Youth Stars, Marabella Family Crisis Centre, Edinburgh 500 Spartans and Siparia Spurs, which participated in the Super League last year, were dumped out of the competition for failing to pay the registration fee of $45, 000 on time.
Some of the clubs have already agreed to return to their Regional Associations, while others are throwing support toward the community league. It is unsure whether the League will continue beyond this season after the TTSL gave an assurance to omitted clubs that they will regain entry in 2019 once requirements are met.
Eastern Football Association (EFA) president Linus Sanchez said they have extended the deadline for registration to July to accommodate teams thrown out of the TTSL.
However, he made it clear the teams must meet the requirement of paying a $1,500 membership fee and $3,500 to register.
Clynt Taylor, the Central Football Association general secretary also admitted the CFA will accept teams dumped out of the TTSL, back for the 2018 season.
Terrence Boissiere, the Marabella FCC manager has said he will return to the Southern FA.