St. Ann’s Rangers Football Club has completed what can be clearly defined a transformation of its senior team ahead of the 2012-2013 season.
Experienced players Devon Modeste, Hector Sam, Elijah Belgrave and Mikhil Awai together with Trinidad and Tobago U-23 striker Cameron Roget, U-21 player Kyle Bartholomew and Theon James are the only players resigned from last season.
While former San Juan Jabloteh players defenders Jamal Jack and Christon Thomas and midfielders Jason Marcano and Andrew Smith have been brought in together with T&T U-23 goalkeeper Zane Coker, midfielders Kurdell Brathwaite from Police FC and Raymond St Hllaire from Westside Super Starz and goalkeeper Akel Clarke from Real Maracas.
The St. Ann’s club also signed United States born duo striker Ladule Lako LoSarah and defender Daniel Torre, along with defenders Kadeem Darlington, Tarik Nicholls and Justin Harper while Jemel Berot and Shomari Antoine have been promoted from the U-18s.
In charge of Rangers is former player and assistant coach Dean Pacheco who took over from former Head Coach Anthony Streete near the end of the 2011-12 season.
“We now have a mixture of experience and youth,” explained Rangers Team Manager Adrian Romain.
“We want to make sure that in years to come, we always have that balance in terms of experience and youth. With guys like Hector Sam, Elijah Belgrave and Modeste at the helm of things, it’s just the youths to come in so we can keep on rotating as time goes on.
We have Jason Marcano with Pro League seasons under his belt, we have Jamal Jack, Mikhail Awai and Christon Thomas who recently won an FA Cup with Jabloteh, and Zane Coker who came off a brilliant season with Caledonia. So if you look at it, we have a good mixture of people who are accustomed winning. And that’s what we needed at Rangers. We now have it this season,” ended Romain.
Coker, 22, a former Rangers and Jabloteh youth player, is coming off his first professional stint with Caledonia AIA last season which included title successes.
“The decision wasn’t really my own [to leave Caledonia],” said Coker. “The club decided that it had some tough decisions to make.
So now I’ve returned to Rangers. I have an opportunity now which is a blessing in disguise because now I’d have more playing time once God blesses me with good health and strength. And I think I can carry Rangers to the next level.
I’ve won things before with Caledonia. And as I’ve told my new teammates, winning is a mentality. We must have the right attitude going into the new season.”
Meantime Rangers foreign imports Lako LoSarah and Torre, close friends of striker Roget, both promised some positive difference.
“I like the football, I like the players and the coach,” said Lako LoSarah. “I think I bring a different type of game. I grew up playing different styles and now I’m about integrating that into the team and bring my strengths.
Torre, a former U-20 player at Mexican club Pachuca, said, “(Rangers) have a good vision on what type of style soccer they want to do. It’s a great atmosphere. I like the team. It’s also like a family. It’s something that when you’re a foreigner and when you come away from home you can just fit into.
I can add a different type of style. I’ve played in two different countries already. I come from a Spanish background so I like more of the possession type one-two touched football.”