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Fri, Aug

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Ter­minix La Hor­quet­ta Rangers' open­ing match of the As­cen­sion In­vi­ta­tion­al Foot­ball League will take place on Au­gust 10 with much fan­fare at its spank­ing new fa­cil­i­ty at Phase Two, La Hor­quet­ta, Ari­ma.

Af­ter more than $5 mil­lion spent to date, the once di­lap­i­dat­ed pavil­ion sit­u­at­ed be­hind the La Hor­quet­ta Po­lice Sta­tion, has been trans­formed in­to a se­mi state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ty, com­pris­ing a mi­ni restau­rant, an ex­tend­ed seat­ing ca­pac­i­ty that mea­sures 120 x 50 feet, com­men­tary booths, four dress­ing rooms and toi­lets, wa­ter tanks with pumps, laser-turf ground and a fa­cil­i­ty that has been to­tal­ly fenced.

On Wednes­day, the di­rec­tor at La Hor­quet­ta Rangers Richard Fer­gu­son said a to­tal of $450,000 was spent on the ground alone, and an­oth­er $435,000 on light­ing fa­cil­i­ties. The key he said is to bring foot­ball back to the com­mu­ni­ty, which will even­tu­al­ly lead to more sup­port for the sport and a bet­ter pro­fes­sion­al foot­ball League in the fu­ture.

La Hor­quet­ta Rangers is the on­ly team in the new As­cen­sion League that is yet to play its first match. But ac­cord­ing to Fer­gu­son, next week's open­ing match is set to pro­vide fans with a show of cul­ture and foot­ball.

In ad­di­tion to their en­counter with Matu­ra Re-Unit­ed, fans will be treat­ed to live per­for­mances from so­ca artistes Blaxx, Or­lan­do Oc­tave and Isas­ha, all for $40. And there will al­so be food and drink from a well-stocked restau­rant.

Fer­gu­son not­ed his club has gone the ex­tra mile in at­tempt­ing to re­turn foot­ball to the glo­ry days. "When you mix the foot­ball with the T&T cul­ture, you will get the sup­port of the fans, as it is what T&T peo­ple can iden­ti­fy with. More sup­port will lead to an im­prove­ment in the qual­i­ty of the game, and even­tu­al­ly a pro­fes­sion­al sys­tem where play­ers will be paid, and the sport will not have to go cap-in-hand to the gov­ern­ment for fund­ing," Fer­gu­son ex­plained.

Fer­gu­son praised the spon­sors of the As­cen­sion League for pro­vid­ing play­ers with the op­por­tu­ni­ty to play the sport.

He ad­mit­ted his team has al­so strength­ened their force this sea­son by re­cruit­ing a few play­ers. He said, "In the past, Rangers has oc­cu­pied the bot­tom half of the ta­ble, but I think we will do bet­ter this year."