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Jabloteh, Club Sando ready to battle
Four-time T&T Pro League winners, San Juan Jabloteh and Club Sando will get the 2018 T&T Pro League season off an running in the feature match of a Super Friday double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva from 6 pm this evening.
Two hours later, three-time Pro League winner Defence Force will do battle with Morvant Caledonia AIA in the second match.
The clubs competing in this year’s local competition which will run through to November 24 and will do so with great financial comfort after each of them were presented with $600,000 to cover their player’s salaries up until the end of the campaign.
However, the T&T Police Service and Defence Force teams did not benefit from the financial assistance since they are security servicemen attached to the Ministry of National Security who play football.
The monies totalling $4.8 million presented to the clubs represents is the first part of Government’s $11.1 million in financial support to the League over the next three years.
Jabloteh which last lifted the league title in 2008 and ended in fifth spot last year will be keen to start its season on a winning note against Pt Fortin Civic, which ended seventh last year.
Morvant Caledonia will be seeking revenge against the Tetron Boys outfit that knocked them out of the First Citizens Cup at the semifinal stage on July 13 to advance into the final with a comfortable 4-0 win.
Defence Force, last season’s third-place finishers in the league behind runners-up W Connection and champions North East Stars, however, a week later, lost the First Citizens Cup final by way of a 4-2 penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw with eventual champions Central FC.
Central, the three-time former league champions, will now look to put to rest last season’s troubling second-from-bottom league finish and there is no better way to try and improve confidence, than against the defending champions North East Stars from 4 pm at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar on Saturday.
Stars, who were battered 7-1 in the Charity Shield against W Connection, are virtually a new bunch from the side that enjoyed league success last year under then-coach Derek King.
King has since taken over the reigns of Super League club, FC Santa Rosa while Stars new coach Zoran Vranes must now hope that his almost rookie bunch would have learned a lot over their five competitive outings this season which all ended in defeats, as they must now face a star-studded Central possibly still on a high from lifting the First Citizens Cup on July 20.
On Sunday, the action returns to the Couva with a mouth-watering double-header with home team W Connection taking on last season’s cellar-placed St Ann’s Rangers from 4 pm before Club Sando and Police FC, two flagging teams, lock horns from 6 pm.
The quickfire calendar will, however, have three breaks for the Fifa international windows (September 3-11, October 8-16 and November 12-20).
The Pro League also plans to end the 2018 calendar, which kicked off on June 1 with the curtain-raising Charity Shield which was followed by the First Citizens Cup knockout with the return of the Pro Bowl knockout between November 26 and December 14.
San Juan Jabloteh vs Point Fortin Civic, 6 pm at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Defence Force FC vs Morvant Caledonia United, 8pm at Ato Boldon Stadium.
North East Stars vs Central FC, 4 pm at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, Arima.
W Connection vs St. Ann’s Rangers, 4pm at Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
Club Sando vs Police FC, 6pm at Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
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