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Offline Tallman

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Skeene: League will ensure that Defence Force plays
« on: September 07, 2011, 06:16:32 PM »
Skeene: League will ensure that Defence Force plays

Every possible measure would be in place to allow defending Digicel Pro League Champions Defence Force defending their title this season, if a worse case scenario arises said League CEO Dexter Skeene.

During the launch of the 2011-2012 Digicel Pro League at the Hasely Crawford Stadium VIP Room on Wednesday, Skeene responded to the question, “Is Defence Force one of the teams lining-up in the League this season?”

“We would make every effort to assure that our defending champions (Defence Force), who put their lives on the line to protect us, are protected within the TT Pro League even if worse case scenario we have to (reschedule) all their games for after the State of Emergency,” responded Skeene.

“We as the League and as a board would ensure that we make every effort to have (Defence Force and Police) in the Pro League 2011-2012.”

Three weeks ago Defence Force head coach Ross Russell, his staff and players were ordered to full military duties following a State of Emergency issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Government.

The State of Emergency was originally issued for fifteen days to help curb an upsurge in crime throughout Trinidad, however on Sunday the State of Emergency was extended to a further three months ending in November.

This created doubt over the 2010-2011 League Champions Defence Force’s participation this season having not been able to train during the initial State of Emergency period.

According to a Defence Force team official, the Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj is expected to meet with Minister of National Security, Brigadier John Sandy on whether or not the football club will begin its title defence this weekend.

Present at Wednesday’s launch was assistant coach Marvin Gordon and team captain Corey Rivers.

Gordon spilled a ray of sunshine between the clouds saying, “We are preparing to play on Friday, unless the powers above order us to stand down.

“We had two sessions, one on Monday and one on Tuesday (and look forward to continue our preparations this week).

The soldiers are scheduled to take on Caledonia AIA from 7pm at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Friday following DIRECTV North East Stars Round One Match Day One meeting against newcomers T&TEC FC from 5pm.

And Gordon predicts a positive result against the Morvant/Laventille club.

“It’s always a rivalry between Defence Force and Caledonia,” he said. “They play good football and we like the way they play. I also think that the last couple years we’ve had the edge on Caledonia and I don’t think it would be any different on Friday once we are tactically ready.

Speaking on his team’s general readiness to defending the League, Gordon said that the two weeks off the training pitch “won’t affect us defending our title.

“But what it has done is hamper our preparation and in saying so, match fitness won’t be one hundred percent for our first game (against Caledonia).

“However I think the mental attitude in coming back and defend our title is there with the players. This is where (head coach) Ross Russell and I would come in and probably change a bit tactically to suit our level of fitness.”

Last season Defence Force jumped into the Pro League record books with the longest perfect run of 11 League wins in as many matches.

The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.