“It’s a different kettle of fish up here,” was the notion of T&TEC FC head coach Dexter Cyrus ahead of the 2011-2012 TT Pro League season which kicks off on Friday 19 August.
Already the club has made a number of high-profile signings on and off the pitch ahead of its debut Pro League season.
In management former T&T international Clayton Morris joined the T&TEC as Technical Director and World Cup goalkeeper Clayton Ince as goalkeeper/assistant coach, while new outfield signings include former W Connection players Clyde Leon, Romauld Aguilera, Andrei Pacheco, Akeem Adams and Wesley John.
Former FC SouthEnd player Kelvin Modeste, former St. John’s United player Vurlon Mills and former Goal City’s Kerlon Ferguson are also added to the roster with last season’s campaigners Brent Garcia, Kevon Neaves, Kerron Bennito, Sylvester Teesdale and Anthony Noriega among others.
“Some of these guys are of the right ages,” continued Cyrus. “That’s the first thing. Also I think it’s a bit more convenient that these players are based in south and most importantly they have the talent.
“We have quite a lot of players with experience and the entire team is rearing for it. Their heads are in the right place and I think we could create a few surprises (this season).”
Cyrus leads T&TEC into the Pro League on a high after winning the Super League title and Knockout title in 2010 with just two seasons at the level. In 2009 T&TEC sent a warning of what was to follow finishing runner-up in both the Super League and Knockout.
Cyrus now believes that his club can make a top four finish in its debut season of the TT Pro League having prepared for it at Super League level.
“I think definitely that we can come in the top four,” said the former T&T international. “The preparations will have to be different and the concentration level will have to come up a bit, because obviously in professional football it’s all about the result on the day. And our guys are capable of that.
“When we entered the Super League we had guys with Pro League experience; guys that played abroad and ex-national players. We built something that was Pro League level down at the Super League. So it’s just a matter of them making the transition.
“The Super League was well organized and all, but it was more a less a competition for the three or four top teams.”
Cyrus added “We want to play attractive football (at the Pro League). We want to compete, not just be another team or the new team that other teams beat. We want to actually build year after year and become one of the top teams in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Goalkeeper Ince who fills major roles at the club as the most experienced player said, “Winning the Super League was just the first stepping stone of their careers and now they want to make it at a higher level.
“The lads at T&TEC are willing to work and achieve things.
“We have a young team with a lot of youthful and energetic lads and my role here is to pass on knowledge and to help them groom themselves into the new season. The Pro League wouldn’t be easy and it’s not like the other leagues where you can let things slip. You will be punished by the better teams when you make mistakes,” explained the former England based goalie.
“But I think our players are very enthusiastic about going out and showing what they are worth and why they deserve to be here. Because they won the (Super) League and I think they would give a good account of themselves in the Pro League.
“I think the goal is not to be intimidated by other teams. The goal is to go out and win trophies and play at our best.”