Defending Toyota Classic champion and Digicel Pro League (DPL) club North East Stars will tackle loud neighbours, Guaya United, of the Super League, in the 2013 Toyota Classic, Round of 16, on Sunday from 3.30pm at the Guayaguayare Secondary School Ground, Guayaguayare.
This, among other Round of 16 matchups, was revealed by way of a seeded draw during the launch of the Toyota Classic at the Hasely Crawford Stadium VIP Lounge yesterday.
On Friday, the tournament, now in its ninth edition, kicks off with double headers in central and east Trinidad. Two-time Toyota Classic winners and current Digicel Pro League (DPL) leaders, DirecTV W Connection, will host fifth-placed Super League (SL) outfit Real Maracas from 6 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, followed by SL leaders Club Sando against sixth positioned DPL outfit Police FC from 8 pm.
At the Marvin Lee Stadium on Friday, fourth positioned SL team 1976 FC Phoenix will tackle defending DPL champion Defence Force from 6 pm, and from 8 pm Caledonia AIA and St Ann’s Rangers will meet in the only DPL clash of the Round of 16. Only last weekend Caledonia trashed the St Ann’s club 6-1 in league action and the Toyota Classic provides Rangers an early opportunity for revenge.
The Macoya venue will come alive again on Saturday, with recently crowned First Citizens Cup champions Central FC against sixth positioned SL outfit Joe Public from 6 pm, and SL third positioned Malabar FC against DPL San Juan Jabloteh from 8 pm.
But the action on Saturday begins a lot earlier, when second-placed DPL club, Point Fortin Civic hosts SL club Stokely Vale from 3.30pm at the Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin. “All the teams in the Super League want to clash with the Pro League teams,” said Club Sando head coach Anthony Streete during yesterday’s draw.
The former St Ann’s Rangers head coach and W Connection assistant coach added, “It augurs well for the competition because the Pro League teams will be out for a tough battle this time around…we guarantee that.”
Streete said it is the ambition of Club Sando, as well as other Super League clubs, to join the Pro League, and the Toyota Classic, which brings together all nine DPL clubs and the top seven SL clubs in this case, provides a good opportunity to showcase themselves.
“It’s so nice to be here because we have been waiting for this a long…long time,” he continued. “We want to compete with the Pro League teams because that’s the objective of our club—to get into the Pro League. We come here to show what Club Sando is made of and this would be the ideal trophy to take home to Sando.
“The people of Sando want to do good things, and I joined the team to do good things; and this is a good stepping stone to showcase ourselves.”
The winners’ prize remains at $50,000 and $20,000 to the runners-up, and according to TT Pro League CEO, Dexter Skeene, the Toyota Classic has been a critical part of the League’s calendar.
“In addition to being a unique tournament which encompasses the Super League clubs, it provides a gauge as to the development of the clubs as well as offering synergies and development of the working relationship between the League and the T&T Football Association,” said Skeene.
He was also pleased to announce that for the Toyota Classic, the League will be utilising as many grounds as possible in the communities, to take advantage of the local crowds, to continue the momentum which has begun during this season.
Last Thursday, following inspection visits at the Guayaguayare Secondary School ground and the Sangre Grande, Ojoe Road Recreation ground, conducted by TT Pro League officials—headed by Skeene, Guaya United’s home ground received the green light, however the home of the defending Toyota Classic champions didn’t meet suitable playing and hosting standards.
The Toyota Classic competition continues throughout the month, with the quarter-final round on November 16 and 17, the semi-final round on November 22, and the final November 29.
2013 Toyota Classic Round of 16
W Connection vs Real Maracas, 6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Club Sando vs Police FC, 8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
1976 FC Phoenix vs Defence Force, 6 pm, Marvin Lee Stadium
Caledonia AIA vs St. Ann’s Rangers, 8 pm, Marvin Lee Stadium
Central FC vs Joe Public, 6 pm, Marvin Lee Stadium
Malabar FC vs San Juan Jabloteh, 8 pm, Marvin Lee Stadium
Point Fortin Civic vs Stokely Vale, 3.30 pm, Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin
Guaya United vs North East Stars—3.30 pm, Guayaguayare Secondary School Ground
Quarter Final Round
November 16 and 17
Semi Final Round