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Sangre Grande based DIRECTV North East Stars are preparing for nothing less that a “tough contest” from newcomers T&TEC FC on Friday afternoon at the Marvin Lee Stadium from 5pm when the 2011-2012 Digicel Pro League season kicks off.

“We know that they (T&TEC FC) are the new boys and we know that they will want to prove themselves at this level,” said Stars head coach Shurland David.

“We also know that they have some good signings and we’re expecting a tough game and are preparing for just that.”

North East Stars returned to Trinidad on Monday morning after a four-day visit to the sister isle of Tobago with practice games against Bertille St. Clair Coaching School (Friday) and Stokely Vale (Sunday) and enjoyed 6-3 and 2-1 results respectively.

“I feel we’re in good stead for the start of the League,” added the Stars head coach. “Overall, the matches in Tobago were creditable performances. Yes we are preparing for the long season, but we don’t want to peek too early.”

“We are really excited to start the season,” beamed midfielder Marc Leslie, who will wear the armband this season.

“I expect a really good contest from T&TEC,” echoed the Stars captain. “We played them in the first round of the Toyota Classic last season and they were very hard to break down. Luckily we won that game 1-0 with a piece of individual brilliance from Gary Glasgow.

“But I think once we do the right things that we have been practicing, we would come away with the same winning result.

“We are looking for a good opening game and hopefully the result would go our way.”

David’s squad is made up of veterans Charles Pollard, Kendall Velox and Gary Glasgow, Trinidad and Tobago internationals Stern John, Anthony Wolfe and Seon Power, experienced Keryn Navarro, Leslie, Glenton Wolfe, Akiel Guevara, Kevaughn Connell and Ishmael Daniel together with talented youngsters Jeromie Williams and Kaydion Gabriel and newcomers Stevon Stoute, Kevin Jagdeosingh, Leon Gordon and Aaron Ali.

“Our squad is enhanced by the new additions,” explained Leslie. “It’s a long season ahead and it’s just a matter of integrating the players.

“With regards to our preseason, the guys received the work by trainer Gregory Seales really well and we are really looking forward to put our work on display.

Leslie added that great things can be expected of North East Stars this season.

“We have the aim of retaining the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield title from last season. Unfortunately we lost out on the FA Trophy and Toyota Classic and would like to add those to our (cabinet) this season.

“But most definitely we are after the League title. The club, the owner Daryl Mahabir and CEO Brent Sancho wants the League this season and I think the players reflect exactly that,” he ended.

In other Round One Match Day One 2011-2012 Digicel Pro League Championship clashes, Caledonia AIA and Defence Force are expected to meet from 7pm at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Friday night, and on Saturday the Ato Boldon Stadium will host a double header with Police FC against Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh from 5pm and W Connection against St. Ann’s Rangers from 7pm.

2011-2012 Digicel Pro League Championship
Round One Match Day One

Friday 9 September 2011
Marvin Lee Stadium
North East Stars vs T&TEC FC—5pm
Caledonia AIA vs Defence Force—7pm

Saturday 10 September 2011
Ato Boldon Stadium
Police FC vs San Juan Jabloteh—5pm
W Connection vs St. Ann’s Rangers—7pm