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Thu, May

Eagles FC
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EAGLES FC club president and first team coach Michael De Four says his team has aspirations of being the number one football club in Trinidad and Tobago, and he believes "we are leading for others to follow" after the launch of the club's website (www.eaglesfctt.com) on April 17.

Formerly known as Cunupia FC, Eagles underwent a rebranding drive before the start of the 2023/24 T&T Premier Football League (TTPFL) tier one season. Now, De Four now says his club has taken further steps to make themselves more marketable and accessible to potential supporters, players and sponsors – both local and abroad.

Currently tenth on the 11-team TTPFL tier one table with 19 points from 17 games, De Four says his team has overachieved in the ongoing season after finishing in the cellar position with just eight points in the inaugural league campaign.

"We are trying to reach out to football fans, our supporters and even people who are not in TT, who can't get on to an Express, Guardian or Newsday and see what's happening in T&T with football," De Four told Newsday.

"That will be a way of increasing our support base and maybe encouraging partners and sponsors to come on board. We are in the age of digital technology so it will help if people can go to a website and see what's happening."

De Four said it cost his club $45,000 to construct and launch the website, while the recurring cost of monthly upkeep will be $7,000. He said the website will have the avenue for entities to advertise on the platform, while the club also plans to have its apparel and other forms of merchandising available on the site. He projects club merchandising to become available at the start of the next TTPFL season.

He said the club's goal is to raise their standard to a desirable level both on and off the field.

"At the highest level professionally, you can go to any site and find out about any player. We're just going by the standard which should be set by professional clubs."

De Four was asked about the club's ongoing efforts to attain sponsorship.

"I can't project the sponsorship aspect at this time. There is the economic situation and we're still coming out of that covid19 situation," he said.

"A number of clubs have been sponsored in the league so far, so we're just waiting for our turn," the Eagles coach said with a chuckle.

Though they are second-from-bottom on the TTPFL tier one table, Eagles are just six points adrift of the fifth-placed Terminix La Horquetta Rangers (25 points) outfit with three matches left in their league season.

"If we can win our next three games, we can end up in fifth place. It's just three points separating us from seventh or sixth or something. We have been able to compete," De Four said.

Establishing the right balance remains the key for the Eagles soar to their desired heights.

"In the aspirations of becoming more professional, we as an entity want to be able to manage people from all walks of life," he said.

"To play good football, you need to have talent and you need to have funding. We try to get the talent first. Next season, if we are fortunate enough to land a sponsor or good contributions, we will be in a much better place."

Eagles started off the league season with a 1-1 draw against current table-toppers Miscellaneous Police FC last November. The league's leading goal scorer, Kevon "Showtime" Woodley, scored Eagles' first goal of the season and he added five more goals before sealing a mid-season move to Caledonia. Former Eagles captain Rhondel Gibson made a move to Tiger Tanks Club Sando during the season as well, but De Four believes his squad is trending in the right direction.

In their roster, the club has the Haitian trio of Exilus Angelo, Michel Huguens and defender Pierre-Louise Peterson, and De Four said the website launch will expand the club's reach even further as they look to widen the diversity of their player pool.

In the interim, Eagles will turn their attention to the First Citizens Knockout Cup when they face fellow tier one team 1976 FC Phoenix from 3 pm at the Arima Velodrome on Saturday.

Eagles' TTPFL tier two team will begin their knockout campaign when they face last season's losing Cup finalists Rangers at the Phase 2 La Horquetta recreation ground from 7 pm on Saturday.


SOURCE: T&T Newsday