Nothing can be more dissatisfying for W Connection when it finished last season trophy less, the first time in the club’s 10-year professional history.
However the “Savonnetta Boys” are upbeat on the new 2011-2012 season which kicks off with the Digicel Pro League Championship this weekend.
“This season we want to win everything including the League because we always want success,” said assistant coach Earl Jean at Wednesday’s official launch of the 2011-2012 Digicel Pro League Championship at the Hasely Crawford Stadium VIP Lounge.
Connection will host St. Ann’s Rangers from 4pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Round One Match Day One and Jean, a former St. Lucian international and Connection forward said, “We’re ready! And excited because last year as difficult as it was for us, we did well in keeping a good standard of play although not winning a trophy.
“You can expect the entertaining football of W Connection (against Rangers) and we want the victory.
“We know that they have been through some difficult times and they would want to win as well, but we are really after the three points.
“I think Rangers always come with good quality players plus they have the experience of (striker Errol) McFarlane and it would be good for them.
“Plus we know that when teams come up against Connection they always give their best, because they know that we have high standards. It’s been a long wait for the start of the season and every team will be coming hard for a very good start.”
The League Championship begins on Friday with a “Super Friday” double header at the Marvin Lee Stadium with DIRECTV North East Stars against newcomers T&TEC FC from 5pm and Caledonia AIA against defending champions Defence Force from 7pm.
In the second clash Saturday of the newly dubbed “Fiesta Saturdays” Police FC will take on Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh from 4pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
While the League Championship and knockout titles remain the domestic focus of Connection, the club continues its quest for ‘financial silverware’ similar to that of Kenwyne Jones who was sold to Southampton in 2004. Jones then joined Sunderland in 2007 and his current English Premier League club Stoke City in 2010.
This season the club acquired the services of former Jabloteh teenagers Jerrel Britto, 19 and Matthew Woo Ling, 15 who turns 16 later this month.
Twenty-one year old goalkeeper Andre Marchan and U21 midfielder Kenaz Williams formerly of Joe Public were also brought in along with 18 year old Jomal Williams and 20 year old Jelani Grosvnor from Trendsetter Hawks and Defence Force respectively.
Connection also promoted youth players Neil Benjamin, Aden Noel, Kellon Alexander and Jamal John while former youth players Andre Quashie and goalkeeper Aquilius Sylvester returned to the club from Joe Public and FC SouthEnd respectively.
The club’s midfield was also boosted with the addition of Rennie Britto who stood out for Ma Pau SC last season while veteran St. Lucian defender Elijah Joseph has committed himself for another season with T&T internationals Kern Cupid and Hughtun Hector, Matthew Bartholomew, Hashim Arcia, Kemuel Rivers, Keron Cummings, Akeem Benjamin, Mekeil Williams, Joevin Jones, Shahdon Winchester and Zaine Pierre.
“We have a lot of young kids and we are quite happy that we went that way, because now is the time to give the young players an opportunity to showcase themselves and try to get them outside in Europe as early as possible,” explained Jean.
When asked about the effect it would have on the club’s domestic ambitions of silverware, the St. Lucian responded, “Based on what we have seen with the other clubs, especially North East Stars with Stern John on their roster, I think it will be a difficult season for us.
“But what I’ve seen so far with our young players, I’m confident that once they get time to play the football, everything will be ok.
“We have a lot of confidence in our players, because although they are young players, they have had experience with some of them on the T&T national U-23 team and I think that augurs well for us at W Connection. We also have players that were on the National U-17 team and that has given them a little experience although they are still very young.
“So from what we have seen in the training sessions, the coaching staff and directors do have a lot of confidence and we expect them to perform well and play and enjoy the game,” he ended.