Civic gets free second round passage after Harlem Strikers pullout
Four-time FA Trophy winners and defending champions DIRECTV W Connection are among three top flight clubs that were drawn to contest the preliminary round of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA)-run FA Trophy, 2015 edition.
Determined at a random draw, of 38 teams, conducted last Wednesday at the TTFA office at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, three (3) TT Pro League clubs: W Connection, Defence Force and Point Fortin Civic, and four (4) National Super League (NSL) clubs: Guaya United, Defence Force, Siparia Spurs and Real Maracas, were drawn in the twelve-team preliminary round to be contested on Wednesday 28 January 2015.
However, Point Fortin Civic, drawn to host Central FA outfit Harlem Strikers at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin in the preliminary round, have received free passage to the next round which will be drawn on Monday 2 February.
According to the TTFA, Harlem Strikers withdrew from the tournament, indicating that due to various reasons they are unable to field a team.
Meanwhile Connection – the reigning Digicel Pro League winners and five-title winners of last season – must face National Super League outfit Real Maracas from 8 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in the preliminary round to begin their title defence.
FA Cups abroad, in particular England, usually include top tier clubs at the latter stage although the tournament is known for the possibility for the "minnows" from the lower divisions to become "giant killers" by eliminating top clubs.
But for a second consecutive tournament, W Connection, arguably the most successful club in the last 15 years, must start from below.
FA winners in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2013-2014 and seven-time finalists, Connection, coached by St Lucian Stuart Charles-Fevrier, have met Maracas just once competitively, defeating the NSL outfit 2-0 in the preliminary round of the 2013 Toyota Classic, the only tournament that pools Pro League clubs with NSL clubs.
Last season Connection defeated rivals Central FC 6-5 on kicks from the penalty spot following a 2-2 draw in the final of the FA Trophy.
The other FA preliminary round clashes to be contested on Wednesday, includes: Siparia Spurs against Maple FC from 3:30 pm at the Fyzabad Recreation Ground; House of Dread to host Guaya United from 6:30 pm at Constantine Ground in Macoya;
Queens Park Cricket Club (QPCC) to host Defence Force (Pro League) from 6:30 pm at Dibe Recreation Ground in Long Circular; and Cedar Hill United against Defence Force (Super League) from 7 pm at Edingburgh 500 in Chaguanas.
Of the thirty-six (38) teams drawn: Nine (9) TT Pro League clubs, eleven (11) National Super League clubs, and three (3) from each of the six (6) national zones, with the exception of Harlem Strikers will compete in the 2015 FA Trophy.
TT Pro League (Central FC, W Connection, Defence Force, North East Stars, Caledonia AIA, Point Fortin Civic, Police FC, San Juan Jabloteh, St. Ann's Rangers)
National Super League (Real Maracas, Guaya United, Petrotrin Palo Seco, Club Sando, D’ Lime Bar Goal City, Bethel United, WASA, FC Santa Rosa, Siparia Spurs, Stokelyvale FC, Defence Force)
Eastern FA (Prison F. C., House of Dread, SKHY F.C.)
Eastern Counties FU (Biche FC, Rio Claro United, Tamana United)
Central FA (Cunupia FC, Enterprise Life Sports)
Northern FA (Maple FC, QPCC FC, St. Francois Nationals)
Southern FA (Moruga FC, Penal All Stars, Cedar Hill United)
Tobago FA (Youth Stars FC, Black Rock F.C., Roxborough Lakers)
Since the debut of professional teams into the competition in 1999, clubs from the former Professional Football League (PFL) and the current TT Pro League have won the cup in all but one of those years. WASA of the Super League were surprise winners in 2006, defeating two professional clubs, including North East Stars 4-2 on penalties after the final ended in a 3–3 draw.
FA Trophy 2015 Preliminary Round
Wednesday 28 January 2015
Siparia Spurs vs Maple FC—3:30 pm, Fyzabad Recreation Ground
House of Dread vs Guaya United—6:30 pm, Constantine Ground, Macoya
QPCC vs Defence Force (Pro League)—6:30 pm, Dibe Recreation Ground, Long Circular
Cedar Hill United vs Defence Force (Super League)—7 pm, Edingburgh 500, Chaguanas
W Connection vs Real Maracas—8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Please be advised that that the TTFA Trophy Competition draw took place today at the Football Association’s Boardroom at the Hasely Crawford Stadium at 2:00 p.m.
The 38 Clubs participating in the competition are as follows:
1 Cunupia F.C. - Central FA
2 Harlem Strikers - Central FA (Dropped Out)
3 Enterprise Life Sport - Central FA
4 Biche F.C. - Eastern Counties FU
5 Rio Claro Utd 0 Eastern Counties FU
6 Tamana United - Eastern Counties FU
7 Prison F.C. - Eastern FA
8 House of Dread - Eastern FA
9 SKHY F.C. - Eastern FA
10 Moruga F.C. - Southern FA
11 Penal All Stars - Southern FA
12 Cedar Hill Utd - Southern FA
13 Youth Stars - Tobago FA
14 Black Rock FC - Tobago FA
15 Roxborough Lakers - Tobago FA
16 Maple FC - Northern FA
17 Q.P.C.C - Northern FA
18 St Francois Nationals - Northern FA
19 Real Maracas - National Super League
20 Guaya Utd - National Super League
21 Defence Force (SL) - National Super League
22 Petrotrin Palo Seco - National Super League
23 Club Sando - National Super League
24 D' Lime Bar Goal City - National Super League
25 Bethel United - National Super League
26 WASA - National Super League
27 FC Santa Rosa - National Super League
28 Stokelyvale FC - National Super League
29 Siparia Spurs - National Super League
30 W. Connection - TT Pro League
31 Defence Force (Pro) - TT Pro League
32 San Juan Jabloteh - TT Pro League
33 Caledonia AIA TT - Pro League
34 Police F.C. - TT Pro League
35 Point Fortin Civic FC - TT Pro League
36 Central F.C. - TT Pro League
37 St. Ann's Rangers - TT Pro League
38 North East Stars - TT Pro League
The 1st Round will take place on Wednesday 28th January 2015 and the draw for the round of 32 will take place on Friday 30th January, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at the TTFA Board room, Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The Fixture for the 1st Round is as follows:
1 House of Dread Vs Guaya Utd, 4:00 p.m. Guaya Rec. Ground
2 Cedar Hill Utd Vs Defence Force FC (Super League), 4:00 p.m. Cedar Hill, Princes Town
3 Q.P.C.C. Vs Defence Force F.C. (TT Pro League), 4:00 p.m. Dibe Rec Grd, Long Circular
4 Siparia Spurs Vs Maple F.C 4:00 p.m. Fyzabad Rec. Grd
5 Point Fortin Civic Vs Harlem Strikers 4:00 p.m. Mahaica Oval
6 W Connection Vs Real Maracas, 8:00 p.m. Ato Boldon Stadium