"It's all about goals."
That's T&T Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene's take on the 2012 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield, which kicks off tomorrow at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella and Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain from 6 p.m.
The Pro League, which launched the 2012 Goal Shield at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday, is adding a few incentives to spice up the tournament, with the winners earning, in addition to a starting winners' prize of $20,000, additional cash prizes for each goal scored in the different rounds of the competition.
The champions will collect $1,000 for each goal scored at the quarter-final stage, $2,000 for each semi-final goal, and another $3,000 for goals in the final.
For the runners-up, they get $500, $1,000 and $1,500 for each round, respectively, in addition to the $10,000 second prize. There will also be a spectator's competition, with three fans in a shootout to win $500.
Sponsors Lucozade Sport have also upped the ante, increasing their sponsorship this year from $70,000 to $80,000. They are also targeting the fans, with one lucky patron winning a trip to England to watch a Premier League match of their choice.
Teams for the competition have been drawn for the quarter-final round on the basis of their final Pro League positions, with defending champs North East Stars facing Pro League runners-up T&TEC in the second match of a double-header at "Manny Ramjohn" from 8 p.m.
The earlier match at Marabella, kicking off at 6 p.m., will feature 2011-2012 Pro League winners W Connection against St Ann's Rangers.
At Hasely Crawford Stadium, Caledonia AIA come up against Police from 6 p.m., while the most mouth-watering clash of the "quarters", between Defence Force and San Juan Jabloteh, will kick off at 8 p.m.
At the launch, Skeene thanked the sponsors for their continued support in the current difficult economic climate and singled out team owners David John-Williams of W Connection, Caledonia AIA's Jamaal Shabazz and North East Stars' Darryl Mahabir for their continued support of the Pro League.
Lucozade brand manager Keenan Henry reiterated his company's support of the Goal Shield, saying the fans are also an integral part of football.
"We may forget a great pass, or a great save, or even a great cross, but we'll always remember a great goal," Henry said. "In other words, the Lucozade Sport Shield is not only for players to push themselves, but also for the fans and spectators to have the most memorable experience."
Venue: Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella
W Connection vs St Ann’s Rangers, 6 pm - (A)
T&TEC vs North East Stars, 8 pm - (B)
Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo
Caledonia AIA vs Police, 6 pm - (C)
Defence Force vs San Juan Jabloteh, 8 pm - (D)
Winner A vs Winner D
Winner B vs Winner C