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REIGNING Community Football League champions, Boca Juniors will begin their title defence when they go head-to-head with Santa Flora United in their opening clash at the Petrotrin Recreation Ground, Fyzabad, from 4.30pm today.

At the tournament launch last Sunday, the defending champions sounded a clear warning to this year’s trophy contenders when they comfortably defeated a quality VFI squad 3-0 in the feature match.

VFI were favoured to win the clash since they managed to field a host of former national players such as Brent Sancho, Michael Mc Comie (goalkeeper), Atiba Charles, Cyd Grey and Kevin Jeffrey.

However, the Boca Juniors players were not intimidated by the star-studded cast and opened the scoring in the 56th minute with a precise shot from Trent Noel. Noel ended the 0-0 first–half drought as he slotted one in past VFI’s substitute goalie Kenol Paul.

Soon after, Noel registered his second goal to carry the score to 2-0, before Eutace Darius’ solo effort sealed the 3-0 victory against an highly experienced VFI squad.

This match however, was merely an opening match to declare the 2012 edition of the tournament, officially open. VFI will not be competing in this year’s league. On Sunday, the league opened with the parade of uniform teams and queens, led by Petrotrin Cadet Corporation, before a packed crowd at the Petrotrin Fyzabad Recreation Ground.

South Oropouche United were adjudged parade winners, followed by Gallows United and Standard SC respectively. Whitney Williams of Boca Juniors was crowned “Best Queen” on parade.

Event co-ordinator, Andre Barnard revealed that the league in its 28th year and has already produced players who went on to represent this country nationally and internationally. Barnard openly admitted that he was happy to see past players like Dennis Latiff and Devonish “Finey” Paul coming out to support the cause.

The tournament is once again being sponsored by Tiger Tanks Trinidad Unlimited. Latiff, general manager of Tiger Tanks Trinidad Unlimited, said his company was interested in helping the youths of Fyzabad and surrounding areas.

Latiff explained that sponsoring the league for the third consecutive time was his way of giving back to the community. Also attending the launch were former national coach Edgar Vidale, former national players “Finey” and Anthony Rougier.

Teams participating in the league this year are Boca Juniors (defending League, Knockout and Big -4 champions), New Comers United, Standard Sports Club, Gallows United, New City FC, Star Blinkers, South Oropouche United and Santa Flora United.

These teams will all be vying for the over $35,000 worth of prizes in four competitions. They are the League, KO, Big-4 and Small-4. Games will be played every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at the Petrotrin Fyzabad Recreation Ground.

This weekend’s games will see defending champions Boca Juniors go up against Santa Flora United at 4.30pm (Saturday) while Gallows United meets Newcomers United at the same time on Sunday.