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Caledonia/Central gear up for FA trophy - Money or no money, say team managers
Spectators going to the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, from 8 pm tomorrow to witness the 2012/2013 T&T Football Federation FA Trophy final between debutants Central FC and defending champions Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA can expect a mouth-watering duel.
This was the view of representatives of the two clubs, Jerry Moe of Caledonia and Central FC’s Brent Sancho, when the T&T Football Federation led by its president Raymond Tim Kee held a pre-match media briefing at its #6 Ana Street, Woodbrook, head office, yesterday.
During his brief address, Moe, coach of Caledonia AIA, said the final will be an important encounter as his team wants to keep hold of the title it won last year by defeating Defence Force.
“As a club, when we started out 30 years ago, part of our goal was to be among the top clubs in local football and in capturing the FA last year and being among the regular contenders for the other major titles we feel we have reached that goal.
“Our preparation for the match against Central has been very good and we are very confident. We know Central has a good team as well and will be coming at us very physical, having gone under to them 2-3 recently. We also know their coach Terry Fenwick will also have his eyes set on another FA triumph.”
Moe also dismissed any notion that his team would not be taking the match seriously because there were no monetary rewards for the winner. “Money or not, my guys will be giving 110 per cent as we aim to lift the FA trophy yet again.”
An elated Sancho, the managing director of Central FC and a former World Cup defender stated his team was very happy to have made it to the final of such a prestigious competition in only its first year as a professional club.
“We at Central FC are still in the embryotic stage and as part of the club’s management team it’s a great for us to be in a final. Like Caledonia we are proud to be in the title match, money or no money.
“Our aim at the start of the season was to finish in the top five of the league and reach at least one of the cup finals and we are surely on our way to doing that.
With regards to Friday, Sancho said the team’s preparation under recently hired coach Terry Fenwick has gone very well and while his team did well in a recent win over Caledonia, he expects more hunger from his players in the FA final as cup competitions bring out a different animal in players.
Raymond Tim Kee, president of the T&T Football Federation, noted he was filled with two sets of emotion.
The local federation boss first expressed his delight and expectations for Friday’s final which he said will see all stakeholders involved refocusing their energies on football matters while on the other hand he was disappointed that there would be no monetary reward on offer to the winners of the final, which is the most prestigious tournament in all footballing countries.
“This situation is just discomforting in that it’s a fact that we just don’t have money.”
Looking ahead to future FA tournaments, an upbeat Tim Kee said he has already proposed that there should be no recurrence of this situation as he pledged in the future to use his financial background to seek sponsorship.
Tim Kee also expressed hope that the Government understands that when it gives commercial licences to major companies to come into T&T, that local sporting bodies may be able to receive some percentage of revenue.
The local football boss also sent out a plea to corporate T&T to try and understand the role of sport in shaping and building the nation’s youth.
He warned, “I will be coming knocking on the doors of companies to assist in the financing of football and it is my hope than when next we meet to discuss the staging of a tournament like this we will have something to celebrate.”
Prior to the FA final tomorrow, T&T national under-17 men’s team will face DirecTV W Connection Reserves as they continue their preparations for Concacaf Final Round of Qualification in Panama City in April towards the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in September.
The local under-17s, coached by Shawn Cooper, are coming off a recent four-match tour of Costa Rica where they enjoyed mixed results.
T&T ended with a 4-3 victory over Saprissa’s Under-20 team after losing to Costa Rica Under-17s 3-0, 3-2 to Alajuelense’s Under-20 team and a 0-0 draw with the same Alajuelense Under-20 team, the U-20 League champions of Costa Rica.
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