Struggling First Citizens Cup holders, Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA will face off against T&TEC in a repeat of last year’s final when this year’s competition, the 14th overall and 11th of First Citizens sponsorship, kicks off with two quarterfinal double-headers tomorrow from 6 pm. The clash between Caledonia and T&TEC will be the second of a double header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 8 pm. North East Stars will tackle St Ann’s Rangers at the same venue two hours earlier at 6 pm. Down at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, six-time winner DirecTV W Connection faces Police in the opening match while Defence Force, champions in 2002 and 2009, battles newcomer Central FC. The draw for the tournament which carries a prize of $80,000 for the winners and $20,000 for the runner-up was made at the First Citizens Corporate Box, Queen’s Park Oval, Elizabeth Street, yesterday. In the semifinal round on September 28, the winner of the Defence Force/Central encounter will meet the Stars/Rangers winner while in the other semis, the T&TEC/Caledonia victor faces the W Connection/Police winner.
The two other teams to win the tournament, San Juan Jabloteh (2000 & 2003) and Joe Public (2010) are no long involved in the league due to various reasons. During his brief address, Dexter Skeene, chief executive officer of the T&T Pro League said he was delighted that First Citizens, one of the premier financial service groups in T&T and the best-rated indigenous financial institution in the English-speaking Caribbean, continues to be a partner and title sponsor of the premier club knockout competition in T&T and more so, they have agreed to continue their association with the league. He added: “The First Citizens Cup is a coveted prize in local sport. But more than just the cup or the competition it is the act of faith whereby First Citizens is saying that our vision, mission, corporate image and attributes and the T&T Pro League’s values align, and as such we (First Citizens) are willing to associate our brand with the T&T Pro League.” Warren Sookdar, First Citizens’ Chief Information Officer, ICT Unit, speaking prior to handing over a sponsorship cheque for $350,000 to Skeene, stated his company was once again proud to be collaborating with the T&T Pro League.
“This 11-year partnership has promoted the development of raw talent and as the only truly local bank, we are committed to enhancing our youth through their development in education and sport.” Sookdar, also commended the Pro League for its efforts in finding innovative ways to improve football and for grooming the youths not just into professional athletes but well-rounded individuals. With regard to the crowd support, Sookdar said: “Football, like many other sports in T&T, evokes a wealth of support from the fans. Their encouragement helps to keep you the players motivated on the field, yielding camaraderie, and sportsmanship amongst team members. “And this year First Citizens hopes to attract even more of this support by continuing the “Biggest Cooler Crew” and “Dash for Cash” promotions which have gained so much popularity since its introduction.” In addition to the team prizes in the final, the tournament’s top scorer and “Most Valuable Player” will each collect $1,000 while the “MPC” of each game will get $500.
The “Dash for Cash” winner per game will also receive $500 per game, however for the final they will collect $1,000.
Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo
North East Stars vs St Ann’s Rangers, 6 pm - (A)
T&TEC vs Caledonia AIA, 8pm - (B)
Venue: Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella
W Connection vs Police, 6 pm - (C)
Defence Force vs Central FC, 8 pm - (D)
A vs D
B vs C