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Kevon Carter and Seon PowerWinger Kevon Carter of the defending Digicel Pro League champions, Defence Force, says he is aware of the new the challenges for the upcoming 2013-2014 season, but pledges that his side has standards to uphold.

It's one challenge to try and defend a title, and it’s definitely another challenge totally to try and defend a title against amillion-dollar-motivated cache of clubs.

Carter said that it’s going to be a very challenging season not only because of the league title at stake, but because of the $1,000,000 winners’ prize money this season.

And that’s not all.

Defence Force stands without the services of ace striker and last season’s top goalscorer Devorn Jorsling, presently on a promotional course towards the rank of Army lance corporal, during the month of September—a blow for Head Coach Ross Russell, who didn’t have any major additions to his roster this season.

“This season will be a much tougher season,” admitted Carter.

“We don’t really have many newcomers because we can’t bring in any outsiders like the W Connection or the North East Stars. We are going to be total local outfit with one or two youngsters that will be in the fray.”

Under-21 players Adrian Welch, scorer against W Connection in a 4-2 defeat last Friday in the Digicel Charity Shield, Samuel Delice and Curtly Dodds are the new faces around the team this season.

The squad basically stands with captain and defender Corey Rivers, goalkeepers Kevin Graham and Sheldon Clarke; defenders Devin Jordan, Marvin Jones, Rodell Elcock, Glynn Franklyn, Aklie Edwards; midfielders Jerwyn Balthazar, Dexter Pacheco, Josimar Belgrave, Jemel Sebro, Kerry Joseph, Sean Narcis, Ross Russell Jr.; and attackers Carter and 2011-12 TT Pro League/Toyota Player of the Year Richard Roy.

The two-time (2010-11 & 2012-13) Pro League champs will begin its title defense on Friday against the Terry Fenwick coached-Central FC from 6pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, followed by an 8pm contest between newcomers Point Fortin Civic Football Club from 8pm in Round One Match Day One action.

“We are just coming to put our best foot forward in the Digicel Pro League,” added Carter who welcomed the challenges of Point Fortin and returning San Juan Jabloteh. “It’s an honour to be back in the Pro League again this (season). I think we have standards to uphold being the defending champs. We are back as a disciplined unit once more. We come to improve this (season) because last (season) we only got the League title, and we are throwing our hands at all the other trophies.”

Carter and his teammates, just as last season failed to get off to a winning start with the Charity Shield, but went on to lift the league title.

Connection boasting a roster equipped with number of imports in Celio Guilherme Da Silva Santos and João Ananias Jordão Júnior of Brazil, Colombians Yefer Steven Lozano Rubiano, Yhon Stiven Reyes Lopez and Camilo Andres Ortega Diaz and Italian striker Mirko Delia proved the better team against the soldiers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Hashim Arcia grabbed a double while Silvio Spann and Surinamese forward Stefano Rijssell got a goal each for the “Savonnetta Boys”.

Coach Stuart Charles Fevrier should also enjoy the services of goalkeepers Alejandro Figueroa, Aquelius Sylvester and Julani Archibald; defenders Daneil Cyrus, Kurt Frederick, Leslie Russell, Christian Viveros, Brendon Boucaud and Alvin Jones; midfielders Gerard Williams, Jomal Williams, Clyde Leon, Tremain Shayn Paul; and forwards Neil Benjamin Jr., Devaughn Elliot and Jerrel Britto.

Connection will take to the field on Saturday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 5pm against St. Ann’s Rangers, coached by the recruited Gilbert Bateau. And from 7pm Caledonia AIA of Morvant/Laventille are against North East Stars from 7pm, while Jabloteh receives a bye on the weekend.