After almost 10 years of not having a Tobago football team in the top flight T&T Pro League, this situation is set to change soon.
Yesterday Anthony Moore, president of the Tobago Football Association (TFA) admitted that all stakeholders on the islands are interested in putting forth a Tobago representative team in the league, but it will not be done until a proper business model and pathway have been worked out.
A coach has already been identified for the team, Moore said, but stakeholders are contemplating an appropriate name for the team.
The last Tobago team that played in the pro league was Tobago United FC which was coached by former national footballer Peter Granville. But the team was dissolved in 2011, after many unsuccessful years that saw it finish bottom of the table.
However, Moore said he wants the new team to have a philosophy and direction.
"It must not be like the old Tobago teams in the Pro League where shares were bought and it becomes a member of the TT Pro League only. Rather it must be opened to all of the Tobago people. Corporate Tobago must be able to purchase shares within the club, as well as all persons on the sister-isle, which would mean that there will be a vested interest by all to be involve and support," Moore explained.
Tobago football stakeholders are now awaiting the developments from a proposal from a UEFA/CONCACAF team recently, that could potentially change the management of the sport locally and change the names of the country's top domestic football leagues.
For this purpose a tripartite committee comprising Julia Baptiste (TT Pro League), Keith Look Loy (TT Super League) and Richard Piper (T&T Football Association) was chosen to initiate consultation and move football forward.
Moore said he and his executive await the outcome of this to determine their next step. In the meantime, however, issues such as revenue generation and travel between the islands are being worked out.
"For sure we know that money will be generated for our home matches on the island, because of the close-knit relationship among the communities. And because it will be a representative team, people with a vested interest will come out, while others will be out to rally behind the top players that exist in Tobago," Moore explained further.
He added, "We are also unsure of the format and structure of the competition, but if matches are being played at the weekend, it will also work in our favour. The team's matches will all be played at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet only. But basically, all must be on board on the sister isle."
The Pro League is set to kick off in April, considering the pace at which key decisions relating to the UEFA/CONCACAF proposal, are made.
SOURCE: T&T Guardian