Central FC will kick off defence of its First Citizen Cup title, one of two trophies captured in the 2013/2014 season, against Pt Fortin Civic Centre on October 17 in one of four quarterfinal matches.
This was determined when the draw for the nine-team tournament, now in its 12th year of First Citizens sponsorship was made yesterday at the VIP Lounge, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
Last year, the “Sharks” (Central FC) are called edged out Defence Force 2-1 in the tournament decider at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
And this year the Couva-based club, since losing to DirecTV W Connection 1-0 in the Digicel Community Shield, has a great chance to reach a second straight final based on its draw.
Should Central get past Pt Fortin in its quarterfinal, it will then face the winner of the Police and St Ann’s Rangers quarterfinal in the semifinal on Friday October 17 for a spot in the October 31 final.
However, in the other half of the draw its anybody’s guess who will get to the title match with six-time winners W Connection, 2011 and 2012 champions Caledonia AIA, and 2002 and 2009 titlist Defence Force, beaten in three of the last four finals as well all in the fray.
The “Teteron Boys” will first have to get past their qualifier against San Juan Jabloteh next Tuesday at Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya. The winner will have a date against W Connection.
North East Stars, one of three current Pro League clubs never to capture the crown will tackle Caledonia in the other.
Speaking at the launch, Warren Sookdar, First Citizens chief information officer, boasted that it was the twelfth year First Citizens has partnered with the T&T Pro League in producing the tournament and it thanks Dexter Skeene and the Pro League for their efforts and commitment as league administrators.
With regards to First Citizens commitment, Sookdar was quick to note that sponsorship goes beyond giving money and gaining brand awareness.
“The value of sponsorship must lie in the lives that we change and in the growth of the initiative while the footballer, the sponsor and administrator must be unified by the desire to improve the state of football in all areas.”
Reflecting on what the tournament has produced over the years, Sookdar said,”First Citizens was proud of its investment when it looks at players like Shannon Gomez, Carlos Edwards and Densill Theobald, who have come through the First Citizens/BGTT Secondary Schools Football League to represent the national Under-20 team and play on the international scene respectively.
He added, “First Citizens is pleased when players can express their heartfelt gratitude to the Group for seeking their interest at a personal level as they did during the ‘Managing Your Finances” seminar held earlier this year.
Skeene, Chief Executive Officer fo the T&T Pro League was in full praise of the tournament sponsors saying: “First Citizens has led by example in moving to the top of the corporate rankings.
“You have been here from the beginning and continue to understand the importance of the T&T Pro League to the development of football, the nation’s youth and sport industry.
As is customary, First Citizens will also provide incentives to the spectators with its annual “Dash-for-Cash” in which an increased prize of $800 at all quarterfinal and semifinal will be on offer, and $1,500 in the final.
The biggest cooler crew will also again be up for a winners prize as well with groups having the opportunity to win cooler of drinks at the semifinals and final.
First Citizens Cup Fixtures Qualifier:
Defence Force vs San Juan Jabloteh, Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya, 6 pm
Central FC vs Pt Fortin Civic
Police vs St Ann’s Rangers
Caledonia vs North East Stars
W Connection vs Defence Force/San Juan Jabloteh winner
Central FC/Pt Fortin Civic winner vs Caledonia/North East Stars & Defence Force/Jabloteh winner
Champs Central to face Civic in First Citizens Cup.
T&T Express Reports.
One Pro League football team will have a $100,000 pay day and earn a crystal statue.
At the launch of the 2014 First Citizens Cup yesterday at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the draw for the competition was announced.
Action will kick off next Tuesday when the Defence Force tackle San Juan Jabloteh in a qualifying match at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Defending champions Central FC oppose Point Fortin Civic Centre in the quarter-final round of matches on October 17.
Caledonia AIA go up against North East Stars, Police FC challenge St Ann’s Rangers and W Connection will play the winners of the Defence Force /Jabloteh encounter in the other quarter-final matches on October 17.
Last year, Central FC won the First Citizens Cup for the first time when they beat the Defence Force by a 2-1 margin.
Times and venues for the quarter-final round will be announced soon, Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene said
At yesterday’s launch, it was revealed that the competition’s winners will pocket $100,000, while the beaten finalists will win $20,000, all part of a First Citizens’ sponsorship package.
Speaking at the launch, Warren Sookdhar, Chief Information Officer at First Citizens, confirmed the financial organisation’s continued commitment to the competition.
“The value of sponsorship must lie in the lives that we change and in the growth of the initiative. The footballer, administrator and the sponsor must be unified by their desire to improve the state of football in all areas,” Sookdhar said, while urging competitors to play fair but fierce.
Skeene said First Citizens’ 12-year relationship was confirmation of the Bank’s commitment to the event.
FIRST CITIZENS CUP FIXTURES:
(A) Centra FC v Point Fortin Civic Centre
(B) Caledonia AIA v North East Stars
(C) Police FC v St Ann’s Rangers
(D) W Connection v Defence Force/San Juan Jabloteh