REIGNING SUPER League champions Guaya United are working feverishly on meeting the entry requirements of the TT Pro League.
But the Guayaguayare-based club has signalled its intentions for the top tier league with the acquisition of 2006 Pro League Coach of the Year Michael McComie as technical director/coach.
The 42-year-old McComie, who guided Joe Public to the 2006 Pro League title and 2007 FA Trophy, boasts the know-how to lead a Super League team to the next level, having led the “Eastern Lions” to consecutive Super League titles on 2004 and 2005 before entering the Pro League for immediate success.
“We see Mike (McComie) as someone who can add value to the structure of our organisation,” said Guaya United team manager Jameson Rigues. “Mike would have displayed competence as coach at various levels. He has also offered his willingness to work with (our) team in preparing our players for the next level. And so far he is doing a great job.”
Rigues said that Joseph Weekes, who carried the team through its final weeks of last season’s Super League after the club had parted ways with Ron La Forest, will serve as assistant coach to McComie.
Last season Guaya United, backed by its noisy and loyal supporters, had tremendous runs in all competitions. The Super League winners also finished runners-up in the Super League knockout, and were semi-finalists in the Toyota Classic and quarterfinalists in the FA Trophy.
“It has always been the club’s ambition to play in the Caribbean Club Championship towards the CONCACAF Champions League,” added Rigues. “So last season we competed in the Super League and won the league. We believe it is time now to take the next step, hence the reason why we took this decision to try and enter the Pro League.
“The supporters would have also spoken to us about competing at the Pro League level because this is what the community wants. So we are working on all the requirements. It is a new environment for us. We like to do things in accordance with the requirements. We are in continued talks with sponsors and so on, while the team is going on full speed ahead in preparation.”
Rigues said that Guaya have already retained most of its squad from last season, including veteran midfielder Ryan Stewart, Karlon Hughes, Kevin Jagdeosingh, Shurland Hyman, Kendes Garcia and goalkeeper Kevon Saunders, while 32-year-old former Trinidad and Tobago international and Scottish-based player Collin Samuel and former national youth team captain Leston Paul, after his January transfer to Central FC, are Guaya’s big targets.