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New Connection CEO confident ahead of play-off
W Connection’s new chief executive officer (CEO) Renee John-Williams is fancying her team’s chances of advancing to the Concacaf Club Championship this year.
Connection, the First Citizens Cup and Toyota Classic Cup champions will be host to Group One of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship on February 24-28 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain Couva, a group that will comprise names such as Guadeloupe’s champs Club Sportif Moulien, Suriname’s Inter Moengo Tapoe and Dominica Republic’s Atletico.
John-Williams, who took over from her father David, following his elevation to the post of president of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) told the Guardian: “I feel pretty confident about the group we have been drawn into.
“We have become accustomed to participating in the CFU Caribbean Club Championships almost every year with a view to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League. We will be hosting the group again this year and aim to always compete at a higher level against teams in the region and internationally.”
As far as John-Williams is concerned, their involvement in the CFU Club Championshiop and CONCACAF Champions League will augur well for her team as it will provide not only its players with much needed exposure to international football, but also the country and the region.
She feels the Savonetta Boys, as her team is affectionately called, and the T&T Pro League have earned the right to be considered strong competitors in the region based on their history.
Connection hosted the opening group round last year at the same Couva venue and cruised past the opening two rounds and into the CONCACAF Club Champions League where they were booted out by Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica and Club Santos Laguna of Mexico.
John-Williams (Renee) explained further she would not be taking any team lightly as all teams will pose defferent challenges.
“I expect that we will be challenged by all three teams,” she said.
“Atletico of the Dominican Republic are their current league champions. We have met Inter Moengoe Tapoe of Suriname in more than one editions of the tournament and they are a pretty strong opponent.” She said it was because of the strength of the Surinamese giants that her club was able to acquire striker Stafano Rijssel.
“We scouted striker Rijssel from Inter Moengo Tapoe a few years ago and he was a great addition to our squad. I can't comment much on the team from Guadeloupe, however they competed last year and secured a win in their group,” John Williams told the Guardian.
She said her team would again try to utilise home advantage, saying: “It is always easier to play at home in front of your fans and on a familiar field. It allows a more comfortable and controlled preparation without the challenges of having to travel and being unaware of the conditions you may meet as it relates to the field, accommodations, etc,” she said.
Apart from W Connection, another TT club Central FC will also be attempting to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League as they have been placed in group three along with Jamaican champs Montego Bay United FC and Scholars International from the Cayman Islands. This group will be played from February 24-28 Montego Bay Sports Complex.