DIRECTV North East Stars striker Stern John is confident that his team will recover quickly from their opening Pro League match defeat against T&TEC.
"It goes without saying that we wanted to start our campaign with 3 points, so the defeat was disappointing." said T&T's record goalscorer.
But John said the mood in camp was positive this week and the squad are looking forward to their First Citizens Cup match against W.Connection on Tuesday.
"When you look at the game against T&TEC, there wasn't much between the teams. We really didn't click for some reason and had to continually change our formation due to players picking up injuries.
I think Seon (Power) played in every position that night as he pulled his hamstring early in the second half. But Seon's a real battler and was sprinting down the right wing in the closing minutes of the game"
John, who didn't play in the match after being given compassionate leave by his club, following the death of his mother the previous week, said he was touched by the respect awarded him by the North East staff, who arranged for a minutes silence before the game to honour the memory of his mother, Janet, as well as Richie Rivers, the 23 year old T&TEC trainee who lost his life the day before.
"I didn't expect that and it was very moving for me. I was very disappointed that there was no minutes silence at the National game vs Bermuda the day after my mother passed away."
John had made the decision to pull on the red black & white jersey after consulting with National Coach Otto Pfister.
"I wanted to play because my mother would have wanted that." said the 34 year old."The coach said it was my decision and I didn't want to unbalance the team in any way. The support I received from the supporters was amazing."
Stars C.E.O. Brent Sancho said "You hate to lose at any time, but the good thing about football is that there is always a next game, and they're coming thick and fast at the moment."
North East will face AIA Caledonia in the second and final group match on Friday 23rd September. "Two games in a week is the perfect way to regain our confidence" said the former World Cup defender.
"We stated that winning the First Citizens was one of our aims this season, and that hasn't changed. T&TEC were very professional in their attitude and approach last Friday and it gave us a wake up call. Now we must turn our preseason training into results."
North East Stars have been busy off the field as well, visiting Manzanilla Government Primary School to donate some footballs.
"Both the schools' boys and girls teams have won the North Eastern Educational District competition two years running" said Stars Operations Director, Kevin Harrison. "And of course, two of our players, Anthony and Glenton Wolfe attended this school, and along with another former pupil, Jason Scotland, went on to represent Trinidad & Tobago.
That's an amazing achievement for any school." Harrison said that schools like Manzanilla will provide North East Stars with their future players and the club intended to do its utmost to support the coaches and players of schools in the North East Region.
Harrison also said that, as well as North East's new uniforms, the new North East Stars supporters club, complete with mascot, will be making their first appearance at Hasely Crawford on Tuesday.
"We have organised our supporters so they will form a united presence in the stands, as well as take advantage of cheaper travel and sponsors giveaways . As the season progresses we will look to grow the membership.
However, it is an independent supporters group which will be supported, not controlled, by the club."
Anyone requiring more information on the supporters club can contact Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
DIRECTV North East Stars play W.Connection in the First Citizens Cup on Tuesday 20th September at Hasely Crawford Stadium, kick off at 7pm.