“We have a lot to play for.”
Those were the sentiments of Caledonia AIA captain Stephan David, who is aware that things are not going the way it should or at least how head coach Jamaal Shabazz wants it to be for his team.
The Morvant/Laventille-based club is winless in its last six Concacaf Champions League matches and most recently lost 3–0 to North East Stars in its opening Digicel TT Pro League fixture over the weekend.
Caledonia will face Deportivo Toluca tomorrow, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 8 pm and it will be the second meeting between the two sides in the CCL.
The Mexican club has won the CCL two times (1968 and 2003) and finished runner-up in 1998 and 2006.
Playing in the very first match of the 2013/14 Championship, Toluca downed Caledonia AIA 3–1 and will now face the team in Trinidad for the first time.
While Toluca have won both of its matches so far in the tournament, Caledonia lost 3–0 to CSD Comunicaciones. However, team captain David believes his side can turn things around and exit the 24-team tournament on a high note.
“I think we have plenty to play for and so we will be going for the full six points in our remaining two matches,” said David.
It’s been over three years since the diminutive midfielder was handed the captaincy and he has been around the Eastern Stallions long enough to experience the highs and lows of the 34-year-old club.
“We have been through a lot as a team,” said the former Lindsey Wilson College standout. “We know of all the sacrifices we’ve made to get here two times and though things are not going too well for us right now, we can’t just down our heads and walk out. Six points is what our goal is right now.
“The mood in the team right now, players were a little down after we lost to North East Stars in the league but we have been playing plenty football, didn’t really have a break but we have plenty people to play for right now; the entire T&T, the league, the sponsors and people who believed in us. To make it two years in a row shows that we have been working hard and will continue too,” David noted.
Looking back at Caledonia’s previous meeting, David pointed out that their Mexican counterparts (Toluca) were not spectacular, but, “they just made good of their chances and that’s what we have to do. And, also the altitude didn’t do too well for us in Mexico.”