Caledonia AIA finished in an honorable third position in the 2011-12 Digicel Pro League Championship, a slip from last season’s second position, however the Jamaal Shabazz coached Morvant-Laventille club has already celebrated the First Citizens Cup, FA Trophy and qualification into the Caribbean Football Union(CFU) Club Championship this season.
And are after more success in the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield which kicks off on Friday; the Digicel Pro Bowl in May and the CFU tournament which qualifies clubs for the CONCACAF Champions’ League.
“The FA Trophy is already in the bag… the First Citizens Cup is already in the bag… we have finished third in the League, so we look to win more,” said Shabazz following his team’s final League match last month which the Morvant-Laventille club registered a thrilling 3-2 win against T&TEC FC to end with 38 points—two behind champions W Connection (40 points) and one less than T&TEC (39 points).
He added, “We are also very excited for the [Caribbean Football Union Club Championship] qualification to the CONCACAF Champions’ League which starts in May. We are very hungry. We are Morvant-Laventille. We always get the crumbs… so we are hungry for success.”
Shabazz on to explain that it was a “bitter-sweet” ending to the League.
He said, “I’m happy that we ended the League on a winning mode but I’m sorry for T&TEC. They have played good football throughout the season. They have led and showed good work by Coach (Dexter) Cyrus and his bunch.
While we are happy that we have won the game, we are a little bit sorry for them, because they have worked so hard and not come away with anything this season. But this is football and we have great respect for them. I thought our guys have worked really well (in the final game against T&TEC). It was up and down but I thought our guys worked very well and were good coming to the end.”
Meantime striker Devorn Jorsling who has been an excellent December/January transfer window addition to Caledonia said, “I think it was a professional performance by our team.
Before the game started we couldn’t win the League but I think we came out and played like professionals. We came out and played hard and did what we had to.
T&TEC played well, but they lacked experience. Certain times they had the momentum but didn’t seize the opportunities. I think they did well this season, but in the end lacked experience.”
Joining Caledonia mid-way through the League, Jorsling who finished last season as top scorer with Defence Force again proved his ability in front of goal netting eight times to finish as the Morvant-Laventille club’s top scorer.
Jorsling also handed Caledonia the FA Trophy in March netting a late item in a 1-0 result against his former club Defence Force.
“It was a great feeling having never won the FA Trophy before, but in saying that it was one of mixed emotions,” said the former soldier.
“I think I had a rough game although scoring the winning goal. My former Defence Force marked really well for the majority of the game. But I knew that the opportunity would come and when it came, I took it.
It was good going back to my home club and help win silverware. I played with Defence Force for eight seasons, and scoring the winning goal it was tough seeing them sad after the game. But I had to put all the emotions aside and do the job for my team Caledonia AIA.”
It was the second FA Trophy captured by Caledonia in the last four seasons but a “big moment” for the Morvant-Laventille communities according to Shabazz.
“It was a big moment for us and the communities of Morvant-Laventille. People just associate Morvant-Laventille with gangsters and criminal activity.
So it was good for us to win and get a different headline for the people and the way that our staff headed by Jerry Moe and Travis Mulranine have worked very hard… the players as well. It was an example and a shining light in the darkness of Morvant-Laventille,” said the Caledonia boss.