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Its approximately two weeks, since a State of Emergency was enforced by the Trinidad and Tobago Government and just about the same period of time that Defence Force footballers haven’t faced the training field in preparation for the 2011-2012 Digicel Pro League Championship which kicks off on Friday 9 September.



The defending League champs were ordered to full military duty two Tuesday’s ago as all sporting disciplines were halted by the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment.

The limited State of Emergency with a curfew of 9pm-5am was implemented by T&T Government in a bid to clamp down escalating crime on the island.

Meantime the soldiers were scheduled to face last season’s runner-up Caledonia AIA from 7pm at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Friday 9 September in Round One Match Day One of the Digicel Pro League Championship.

But on Friday 2 September, the Trinidad and Tobago Government heads to parliament in pursuit of extending the State of Emergency which could slam the defending Digicel Pro League champions with a further setback in preparations.

However head coach Ross Russell remains very optimistic.

“Since the state of emergency our team has been called out to do our duties as soldiers to help the country in fighting crime.

“So we haven’t had any preparations for [over] a week in football or any other sport.

“We have just been doing our duties as soldiers to uplift the law,” said the Defence Force head coach on Tuesday morning.

“We now have to wait until Friday, when (the Government) will make a decision to extend the state of emergency. So we can’t give an opinion on that right now,” responded Russell when asked if his team will be allowed to start its title defence on September 9.

“If (the Government) do lengthen the state of emergency, we wont be able to play any sport for a while,” continued the former Trinidad and Tobago international goalkeeper.

Nevertheless Russell says his team will be ready when ordered to play.

“I don’t know how ready we will be, but we are soldiers and are always ready for any challenge. And I believe that we will do well. Because when it comes to hard times, we do perform at our best,” he ended.

Police FC—another Pro League club that falls under the Ministry of National Security—is currently in New York until Tuesday 6 September participating in the World Police and Fire Games and could head straight into Police duties on arrival if the State of Emergency is extended.

The lawmen are scheduled to take on Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh on Saturday 10 September from 5pm at the Ato Boldon in Match Day One.

Other Round One Match Day One clashes are DIRECTV North East Stars against T&TEC FC from 5pm on Friday 9 September at the Marvin Lee Stadium and W Connection against St. Ann’s Rangers from 7pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Saturday 10 September.