Sidebar

23
Sun, Jun

AC Port of Spain celebrate after Jamal Charles scored a goal against Club Sando during their T&T Premier Football League match at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar on Saturday, May 11th 2024.
Typography

ON May 19, the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League (TTPFL) will crown a new champion in its second season, when table-toppers AC PoS (41 points) and the second-placed Miscellaneous Police FC (39 points) stake their respective claims for the 2023/24 title.

AC PoS, who finished an agonising second to Defence Force in last year's inaugural campaign, will play the eighth-placed Heritage Petroleum Point Fortin Civic at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin, while Police will host the cellar-placed Central FC at the St James Police Barracks. Five games will be played on Sunday to conclude the league season, with each match kicking off at 4 pm.

Last season, AC PoS were faced with a similar scenario as they headed into the final game of the season with a two-point advantage over Defence Force. However, the "Capital Boys" critically stumbled at the last hurdle when they succumbed to a 2-1 loss to the Army/Coast Guard combination in a thrilling season finale at the Arima Velodrome.

Speaking with Newsday, AC PoS manager Junior Maxwell says the team doesn't feel any pressure heading into the final game of the season, and they are looking for a more favourable outcome this time around.

"There are no jitters. We have just been working hard in training and trying to continue doing what we have been doing all season – and that's continue to play good football," Maxwell told Newsday.

"For us, it's just another game. Yes, we're two points clear, but it's just another game for us to go out there and play football.

"We continue to show people we're no fluke. We continue working hard and it's all about progression from last year."

AC PoS and Police, who added players such as Khaleem Hyland, Robert Primus, Mekeil Williams and Soca Warriors right back Alvin Jones to their lineup for the current season, have constantly changed hands at the TTPFL summit.

In recent weeks, both teams dropped crucial points on their quest to clinch the $250,000 TTPFL top prize. AC PoS drew 1-1 with Prisons FC on May 2, while Police were held to a 3-3 draw in an exciting thriller away to Tobago's 1976 FC Phoenix on May 5, with veteran striker Anthony Wolfe scoring an own goal deep into second-half stoppage-time.

In their last two games, though, AC PoS have found their stride with wins over the tricky Phoenix (3-2) and the fourth-placed Tiger Tanks Club Sando (32 points).

While Maxwell says AC PoS just need to stick to their regular game, Police coach Wendell Joseph is hoping the Capital Boys can have another slip-up right at the death to allow the lawmen to ascend to TTPFL supremacy.

"It's business as usual. We don't know what will happen Sunday in Point Fortin, but we're preparing as normal," Joseph said.

"We're going into the game positive. We think we will get a positive result against Central, and hopefully, Point Fortin can play some good football and upset AC PoS.

"Nobody wants any team to come and celebrate in their backyard. Hopefully, that will be motivation enough for them to put up a good fight."

Police finished fifth in the league last season, and Joseph credits the team's turnaround to their injection of experienced national players and the rise of promising youth players.

"Being a young staff, I think we got the chemistry right at times and that has been a part of our success this season," Joseph said.

With the third-placed Defence Force (37 points) hot on their heels, Joseph said it's a must-win situation for Police regardless as they want to secure a top-two spot to advance to the Concacaf Caribbean Cup. AC PoS have already sealed their Concacaf Caribbean Cup spot for a second straight season, while the third-placed team will qualify for the CFU Caribbean Shield.

"We just hope we can build on this and hopefully we can qualify for the Concacaf Club Championship automatically and we extend our season a little more and represent the country."

Defence Force will play Eagles FC at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar. In the other TTPFL matches on the final day of the season, Club Sando will host Terminix La Horquetta Rangers at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, while Phoenix will host Caledonia at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet, Tobago.

When the last ball is kicked in anger at approximately 6 pm, a new TTPFL king will be crowned.

TTFPL tier one standings:

Team*GP*W*D*L*GF*GA*GD*Pts

1.AC PoS*19*12*5*2*46*21*25*41

2.Police FC*19*11*6*2*42*20*22*39

3.Defence Force FC*19*11*4*4*35*19*16*37

4.Club Sando*19*9*5*5*30*24*6*32

5.La Horquetta Rangers*19*8*4*7*38*34*4*28

6.Caledonia*19*6*6*7*32*26*6*24

7.1976 FC Phoenix*19*7*3*9*32*37*-5*24

8.Point Fortin Civic*19*6*5*8*26*27*-1*23

9.Prisons FC*20*7*1*12*25*37*-12*22

10.Eagles FC*19*5*5*9*23*30*-7*20

11.Central FC*19*0*2*17*13*67*-54*2

SOURCE: T&T Newsday