Last update: 04-Dec-2013 12:33 pm
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Jabloteh returns to Pro League
San Juan Jabloteh, a former four-time (2002, 2003-2004, 2007, 2008) winner of the Digicel T&T Pro League, will make a return to the competition after a one-year absence while this year’s competition, which begins tomorrow, will feature one first timer in Pt Fortin FC, formerly Pt Fortin Civic Centre.
This was announced by Dexter Skeene, chief executive officer of the Pro League at the launch which was held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, VIP Lounge, yesterday.
This year’s league will also feature nine teams with defending league champion Defence Force, DirecTV W Connection, Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA, St Ann’s Rangers, Central FC, Police and North East Stars while T&TEC, which enjoyed two seasons in the competition, including a second placed finish in the 2011/2012 season, one point behind winners’ W Connection has been forced out due to lack of funding.
Tomorrow, when the league kicks off, Point Fortin, which has former T&T footballers, striker Steve David and midfielder Reynold Carrington as its technical director and head coach, respectively, will meet Police in from 8pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, following the season curtain raiser two hours earlier between last season’s fifth place finisher Central FC and Defence Force. A day later at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, St Ann’s Rangers with first year coach Gilbert Bateau host W Connection from 5 pm followed by Caledonia AIA tackling North East Stars.
Jabloteh, one of the founding members of the league which took a sabbatical last season because of financial constraints and has also won the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship title once, received a first day bye.
Jabloteh will be coached by former youth coach Keith Jeffrey. Skeene was also delighted to inform clubs that the Pro League champions will now receive $1,000,000—a 60 percent increase from the previous winners take of $400,000—while the overall prize money payout scheme stands at $2,000,000 through a combination of sponsorship and other revenue.
He said, “The rational at this genesis in the reality that it costs between 1.4 and two million dollars to run a professional football team.
“Professional football requires capital and investment. The economic must make sense. Clubs must be in a position to invest in their academies and youth development programmes while at the same time, investing in high quality players.” The Pro League CEO added that the ambition of the Pro League is that the champion club and the runner-up must now strive to advance into the knockout stage of the Concacaf Champions League.
Regarding the in-and-out of some clubs into the top flight of local football Skeene said, “It has not been an easy road for the T&T Pro League and its directors.
“Without the unwavering support of the Ministry of Sport and successive Ministers of Sport… the current Minister of Sport (Anil Roberts), you would not have been here today.
“In addition, the TT Pro League’s loyal and corporate partners contributed and supported the vision of where we wanted to take the TT Pro League.
“It is the beauty of the TT Pro League to strive to improve and allow the players to strive for excellence. To always try to create the environment and set stage for players, coaches, club owners, sponsors and fans to raise the bar, with the end product being high quality football, and a football experience.”
There was also a promise to fans. The former national striker promised that “this season we will see the TT Pro League playing a number of games in community fields”.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.