Naparima College 1999 placing: Champions
LAST year Naparima took it all. They placed first in the South Zone and also won the national Big 4 title and the Intercol trophy.
This year, it may be somewhat difficult to repeat that dominance. “Naps” have lost skipper Leon Brown to a football scholarship. Also departing are defenders Kurt Burrel, Erwin Cayenne and link Nigel Fabien.
However, several players have been retained and some new talent has been recruited. Last stopper Jace Peters—who was named Player of the Year last season—will be back as well as Clint De Verteil. The offence will be fortified by the presence of striker Akeba McKnight.
Naparima sportsmaster Roy Jagroopsingh is both confident and cautious about his team’s chances.
However, Naps are still eyeing a repeat of last year’s success.
St Benedict’s College 1999 placing: 2nd
St BENEDICT'S placed 2nd in the league last year and were knocked out of Intercol in the first round by rivals Princess Town in a game that went to extra time.
This season will be one for rebuilding. Nine of last year’s squad will not be returning. Included in this group are defenders Andre Toussaint and Dewayne Millington who have gone to the PFL and captain Silvio Spann who is away on a soccer scholarship.
Also joining the exodus are last stopper Lyndon Diaz, midfielder Dia Hunte and striker Kendall “Neck” Davis. Replacing these players will be five members of the National Under-17 team including Andre Alexis and Nkosi Blackman (both strikers) and last stopper Lee Haynes.
Striker Akil Jordan from last year’s squad will also be returning. Despite the loss of so many vital players, Benedict’s still aim to be a force in zonal and national competition this term.
Princes Town Senior 1999 placing: 3rd
PRINCES Town finished behind Naparima and St Benedict’s last year and were the beaten finalists in the last two Intercol tournaments.
But coach Louis Bobcombe describes this as a rebuilding year. However, he still plans to maintain the very high level of football that Princes Town fans have come to expect.
Departing on football scholarships are skipper and last stopper Anton Ramnarine and prolific striker Andre Marshall.
Also gone is forward Bevon Lewis. However, Bobcombe stresses the continuity of the Princes Town football program and he suggests that many players from the Senior Division side can fill the breach created by the departing players. Despite the change in personnel, Princes Town still expect to have a good season.
Presentation College 1999 placing: 4th
THIS year Presentation have managed to retain the majority of their squad, losing only three players. Captain Makesi Bostic and link Shay Suderland as well as strikers Justin Bishop and Michael Rogers have all returned.
Last year’s goalkeeper Kurt Luke will also be standing in goal this year. Most of the players on the team have the experience of at least one season; in fact, Presentation probably contains the most experienced players in the zone. Manager Leslie Hoyte suggests that this wealth of experience will be vital if the team is to be successful this season.
Mayaro Composite 1999 placing: 5th
FOOTBALL director, Reynold Philip is determined to have Mayaro do better in the league this year.
Several midfield players have been lost including link Devon Williams. However, the talismanic playmaker Colin Samuel and Sherwin Lee (both capable strikers) have been retained. In addition, many of the core defense players are back.
Philip suggests that this combination of experience at the back and talent in the striking positions will help to produce improved results.
Pleasantville Senior 1999 placing: 6th
PLEASANTVILLE, sixth last year and first round Intercol losers, have lost six players from last year’s squad. However, manager Michael Crichlow is pleased with the several new players that have joined the squad. These include the talented midfielder Clint Tidd, strikers Raymond Roach and Jamal Ayers and defender Mbwana Johnson. Crichlow is optimistic about the team’s chances this season and he views the side as possessing more depth. It is a depth he hopes will produce real results this term.
Moruga Composite 1999 placing: 7th
ONLY the demoted Fyzabad Composite struggled more than Moruga last year. This season, they are hoping for considerable improvement. Most of the 1999 side have departed, so this year’s team will have new talent.
Three new players of note are midfielders Quincy Cooper and Steven Nicolas together with defender Jason Allen. Manager Michael Breton is satisfied with the amount of work put in by his charges during the vacation period and is certain that Moruga will be earning volumes of respect from the opposition.
Vessigny Government 1999 placing: promoted
VESSIGNY put together a fine season last year in the Senior Division and have as a result gained promotion for the first time.
Despite being the new kids in the neighbourhood, opposing coaches have said that Vessigny will be a team to reckon with. Howard Spencer, the director of the team, says the squad contains no superstars but that every player on the team is a hard worker. Vessigny aim to be “a well oiled unit”.
Spencer though lamented that his team was a little short of match practice going into yesterday’s season opener against Presentation, but was pleased with the training the team had put in over the last two months.
One problem this season may be Vessigny’s lack of experience at this level. Spencer is hoping though that his charges butterflies disappear quickly as the season wears on.