St Lucian-born former T&T coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier and Ross Russell, an ex-T&T goalkeeper have both expressed confidence in leading their respective clubs, DirecTV W Connection and Defence Force to this year’s Digicel T&T Pro League which carries with it a $1 million prize.
Currently, W Connection, winners in 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2011/12 lead the nine-team with 45 points from 21 matches and three left to play while Pt Fortin Civic FC is next with 39 points but with only one match left.
Defending champions Defence Force also lifted the title in the inaugural league season in 1999 and 2010/2011 as well is third with 38 points and five matches, the same as Central FC, but the latter only has three matches to play.
As its stands, W Connection is in firm control of its own destiny along with Defence Force, while Central FC needs some other results to go its way to be crowned champions after slipping up against North East Stars, 1-2 in its last match.
Pt Fortin Civic and fifth placed Stars (36 points from 22 matches) while out of the title race for certain are also still in the hunt for a top two finish which will guarantee a spot in next year’s Caribbean Football Union Club Championships, a qualifier to the Concacaf Champions League, meaning a lot is still to play for apart from the league’s top prize.
W Connection, which also faces Central FC in the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield final on April 25 with the hope of adding to its three titles won already this season, will face Defence Force on May 4 and May 6 before completing its schedule versus Caledonia AIA on May 13.
In addition to playing four-time champions W Connection on May 4 and May 6, Defence Force, which is seeking a third title in four years and fourth overall since the league was established in 1999 will also come up against St Ann’s Rangers, Caledonia and San Juan Jabloteh.
The Terry Fenwick-coached Central FC have matches remaining against Police, San Juan Jabloteh and St Ann’s Rangers; Pt Fortin ends against Caledonia AIA while Stars come up against Rangers and Police.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the fixtures, Charles-Fevrier noted that the title is a journey and not an event.
He added, “W Connection is where we wanted to be when the season started, that’s in the hunt for the top prize. We are now approaching the business end of things and we are in a good position to come out on top.
With regards to his team’s remaining schedule, Charles-Fevrier, who has led the club to two of its previous four league triumphs as well as numerous cup wins, noted that it will not be an easy ride as they have three tough matches to come.
“We play defending champions Defence Force, who are also in the title hunt twice and then Caledonia, so we have do everything that is legally possible to get the necessary results to claim the crown.
Asked his team was under any added pressure as leaders, the W Connection boss replied, “There is always pressure on professional players and at our club its no different.
However, he warned that the pressure brings out two sides in individuals. “It’s either the pressure makes you worse or it makes you better, and we have been in the league for 15 years, so we are used to it and working on maintaining our focus.”
Teams P W D L F A Pts
W Connection 21 13 6 2 43 15 45
Pt Fortin Civic 23 12 3 8 35 24 39
Defence Force 19 12 2 5 38 24 38
Central FC 21 10 8 3 42 20 38
N/East Stars 22 10 6 6 24 17 36
Caledonia 21 7 6 8 32 31 27
Police 22 8 3 11 29 37 27
Jabloteh 22 3 3 16 22 53 12
Rangers 21 2 1 18 18 62 7
15 - Marcus Joseph (Pt Fortin Civic)
14 - Trevin Caesar (North East Stars)
12 - Joevin Jones (W Connection)
10 - Willis Plaza (Central FC)
9 - Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force)
T&T Pro League winners
Year Champions Points
1999 Defence Force Joe Public
2000 W Connection Defence Force
2001 W Connection Joe Public
2002 San Juan Jabloteh W Connection
2003/04 San Juan Jabloteh W Connection
2004 North East Stars W Connection
2005 W Connection San Juan Jabloteh
2006 Joe Public W Connection
2007 San Juan Jabloteh Joe Public
2008 San Juan Jabloteh W Connection
2009 Joe Public San Juan Jabloteh
2010/11 Defence Force Caledonia AIA
2011/12 W Connection T&TEC
2012/13 Defence Force Caledonia