Police FC head coach Richard Hood believes a Caribbean Club Championship berth—a Pro League (PL) top-two finish—is achievable with his team currently positioned second on the domestic 2018 standings with four games left.
Hood’s side, unbeaten in eight of their last nine PL outings, have 26 points, four adrift of leaders W Connection (30 points), with, in the following order, Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers, North East Stars, Morvant Caledonia United and Central FC left to face.
“The ambition is to first qualify for the Caribbean Club Championship,” said Hood, whose Police outfit will tackle the cellar-placed Rangers from 6pm on Friday in the first game of a double-header at Hasely Crawford Stadium before Defence Force FC and San Juan Jabloteh lock horns from 8pm.
Connection, who have Civic, San Juan Jabloteh and North East Stars in their last three games, must first host Morvant Caledonia, a side unbeaten in their last six outings, from 3:30pm on Friday at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, while Couva rivals Central FC must travel to Mahaica Oval against host Point Fortin Civic from 7pm.
Connection are winless in their last four outings though maintaining their unbeaten run of the current league campaign, but with Police, Central and Sando biting at their heels, the “Savonetta Boys” must not drop further points.
“We would like to finish as champions but that is not really within our hands,” added Hood. “So the intention is to finish second which is within our hands.”
Central and Sando, both sides on 24 points, follow closely in third and fourth positions, respectively, and are also keen on qualifying for the 2020 Caribbean Club Championship—the region’s qualifying tournament to the CONCACAF Champions League and CONCACAF League.
North East Stars and Connection, PL champions and runners-up of last season respectively, are the qualified Trinidad and Tobago teams to represent at the 2019 Caribbean Club Championship.
Police, in 1991, finished runners-up behind champions Club Puebla of Mexico in the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup—the old version of the current CONCACAF Champions League. Hood, a former Police player, had no part in that tournament with his playing career spoiled by a broken leg.
Police, this season, can achieve their best domestic finish since the existence of the PL and Hood credits the effort of his players, staff and the support of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
“Credit to our players, most of whom have been together for the last few seasons and have given their best this season,” Hood said. “They (the players) want to achieve something for Police. The staff also want to do well this season, but where we are positioned now couldn’t be possible without the Police Service affording us the time to allow our players to train and recover more like a professional team.”
Hood also heaped praise on striker Kareem “Scooby” Freitas, who has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season. The Police coach said he remains baffled that Freitas, one of the leading front-runners for the Golden Boot, who has been a huge impact on his team’s performances in the league has not been called up to the Trinidad and Tobago national team.
Pro League 2018
Round Two Match Day Six
(Friday 9 November)
W Connection vs Morvant Caledonia United, 3:30pm at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium
Police FC vs Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers, 6pm at Hasely Crawford Stadium
Defence Force FC vs San Juan Jabloteh, 8pm at Hasely Crawford Stadium
Point Fortin Civic vs Central FC, 7pm at Mahaica Oval