San Juan Jabloteh are champions of the youngest age-group division in the Youth Pro League (YPL) for a fifth consecutive time when they secured the 2019 Under-13 crown by their penultimate match day on Saturday.
The race for the YPL Under-15 and Under-17 titles, however, goes down to the wire on final league day next Sunday with four teams in each division still standing with a mathematical chance.
Jabloteh U13s, though, stretched their unbeaten run to eight from eight with a 6-1 win over bottom-placed Defence Force FC in front of home supporters at San Juan North Secondary to put an unassailable 22 points on the standings.
Defence Force fell behind after just three minutes when Malik Harraman inadvertently headed past his own goalkeeper Josiah Chandler before Jabloteh star forward Lindell Sween (9, 20 & 30) snatched his seventh, eighth and ninth goals of the season. Raheem Mohan (13) and Thane Devenish (17), another player on 9 goals, scored the other items for the eventual champions.
Roshaun Doobay converted from the penalty spot after 12 minutes to celebrate Defence Force's consolation item.
Jabloteh are Trinidad and Tobago's qualified team at the 2019 Concacaf U13 Champions League (August 10-17) as champions of last season’s YPL, and their follow-up this season earns them a fourth qualification at the international tournament in 2020.
Keith Jeffrey, head coach of the Jabloteh U13s, was in full praise of his players and staff after securing the division's league title and a place at next year’s Concacaf tournament.
“We have Thane [Devenish], our second choice goalkeeper we used as a wide outfield player and he scored nine goals in the tournament including two hat-tricks; Joachim Calendar, a stalwart at the back; Kendell Castle, who has improved in midfield; Ability Hazel, captain of the team who has done an excellent job in keeping a lot of clean sheets; and we have [Lindell] Sween, another top goal scorer for us. These players make up the backbone of the team that has made us successful for the 2019 season,” said a glowing Jeffrey.
He added, “Coaches Dave Weekes and Andre ‘Andy’ Morales have assisted me in the success of the team. The administrative managers making everything possible administratively are Charmaine Villafana and Cyril George.
"It was a total effort and the success belongs to everyone at the club.”
Jeffrey, who is also technical director and first team head coach of the San Juan club, said winning the youngest age-group a fifth time in a row shows the level of standard set by Jabloteh in youth football.
"We have a brand in our youth programme,” he pointed out. “ …and we ask players coming into Jabloteh to honour this brand which has a history of success.”
Rivals W Connection (17 points) and Central FC (15 points) in second and third respectively after both sides were held to a 2-2 draw by Club Sando and Morvant Caledonia United, respectively, are left to battle for U13 runners-up.
Jabloteh U13s, meanwhile, are looking ahead to the Youth Pro League Cup (knockout) May 26 – June 16, and the Concacaf U13 Champions League in August.
Jeffrey said the YPL Cup competition will provide a huge challenge for his outfit, pointing out that U13 teams such as Central, North East Stars and Sando are very good teams. “In knockout it’s on the day so we must prepare to go very hard. It will be a final for us against every team we face.”
“We welcome the challenges as we prepare for the Concacaf [U13] Champions League. We reached the quarterfinals the two times before and this year we want to go one step further. So everything now will fall under our preparation for Concacaf,” ended Jeffrey.
Jabloteh visit Sando at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on Sunday 19 May for their final league match before the Youth Pro League knockout competition begins around the corner—May 26 – June 16.
Sando (19 points) leads the U17 table after eking a 1-0 win over Connection but Angus Eve’s players are just one point ahead of Police FC and Civic (both on 18 points) after the young Blues defeated the Point Fortin side 3-1 on Sunday.
Connection and Central (both on 16 points) occupy fourth and fifth on the U17 standings ahead of next Sunday’s final match day.
Terminix La Horquetta Rangers (18 points) leads the U15 standings and will welcome Defence Force on Sunday at D’Abadie Recreation Ground in hopes of holding off Jabloteh (17 points), Police (16 points) and Civic (16 points) for the division’s title.
Other final league day fixtures includes Civic hosting Morvant Caledonia United at Mahaica Oval and Police against host North East Stars at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Youth Pro League 2019
Upcoming Match Day Nine fixtures (final league match day)
(Sunday 19 May)
Point Fortin Civic vs Morvant Caledonia United, at Mahaica Oval;
North East Stars vs Police FC, at Hasely Crawford Stadium training field;
Terminix La Horquetta Rangers vs Defence Force FC, at D'Abadie Recreation Ground;
Club Sando vs San Juan Jabloteh, at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
Central FC vs W Connection, at Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas.
Match Day Eight results
Central FC 2 (Micha'el John 10', Thomas Decle 28') vs Morvant Caledonia United 2 (Lyndell George 60', 65'), Edinburgh 500;
Club Sando 2 (Jaazaniah Greene 3’, Gabriel Collins 20') vs W Connection 2 (Chaz Forde 9’, 12'), at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
San Juan Jabloteh 6 (Malik Harraman Own Goal 3', Lindell Sween 9', 20', 30', Raheem Mohan 13', Thane Devenish 17') vs Defence Force FC 1 (Roshaun Doobay 12' pen.), at San Juan North Secondary;
Terminix La Horquetta Rangers 1 (Mark Thomas 63') vs North East Stars 3 (Josiah Connell 25', Logan Maingot 46', Kade Collier 47'), at D'Abadie Recreation Ground.
Point Fortin Civic 1 (Kwesi Seales 25’) vs Police FC 4 (Stephon James 29’, 60’, 67’, Tyrese Manswell 54’), at Mahaica Oval.
Central FC 1 (Tyrik Trotman 12’) vs Morvant Caledonia United 2 (Giovanni Warner 77’, Jaheem Williams 78’), Edinburgh 500;
Club Sando 1 (Daylon Riley 78’) vs W Connection 0, at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
San Juan Jabloteh 2 (Israel Joseph 46’, Kyle Dwarika 55’) vs Defence Force FC 0, at San Juan North Secondary;
Terminix La Horquetta Rangers 2 (Akiem St. Phillip 3’, Yannis Oliver 66’) vs North East Stars 0, at D'Abadie Recreation Ground.
Point Fortin Civic 0 vs Police FC 0, at Mahaica Oval.
Central FC 5 (Malik Robinson 6’, Isaiah Samuel 13’, Ivan Dos Santos 29’, Naeem Bisnath Own Goal 48’, Drei Guisseppi 69’) vs Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Joshua Ambrose Own Goal 47’), Edinburgh 500;
Club Sando 1 (Nesean Duncan 78’) vs W Connection 0, at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
San Juan Jabloteh 4 (Aaron Perouse 24’, 58’, 59’, Jaheim Faustin 62’) vs Defence Force FC 0, at San Juan North Secondary;
Terminix La Horquetta Rangers 0 vs North East Stars 0, at D'Abadie Recreation Ground.
Point Fortin Civic 1 (Darion Campbell 50’) vs Police FC 3 (Matthias Hinkson 26’, Erin Steeple 51’, 80’), at Mahaica Oval.