The last word from current W Connection CEO Renee John-Williams, is that the local professional club expects to return to action in the near future.
This after announcing that the Savonetta Boys will take a one-year sabbatical from the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League (PFL).
“Our request for a sabbatical was something we discussed with the League, so it doesn’t affect our position,” John-Williams told the Trinidad Express.
”Phoenix (Tobago) has entered Tier One. Our absence has made space for them and when we do come back, it’s going to be there as a Tier One club, once we are properly licensed, which is the requirement for all teams. We will be back out.”
W Connection finished ninth in the truncated first season of the PFL in 2023. The 2023-2024 season is due to begin on November 25.
CEO John-Williams, is the daughter of former chairman David John-Williams, the former president of the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and owner of the club, who passed away in 2022.
She assured that W Connection would return to top flight status.
“We made a decision over the last couple of months to take a sabbatical. To restructure things around the club from an administrative and financial standpoint, so that when we do come back out, we come back at the level and the standard that we are used to.”
In 2023, W Connection had their lowest-ever finish in the local professional league, ending ninth of 12 teams.
“We finished in ninth position and we took some time to review certain areas and this was the decision we felt would have been best for us this season.”
W Connection have been T&T’s most successful professional club, having won three Caribbean Club Championships and were four times runners-up.
The Savonetta Boys are five-time TT Pro League champions; won the FA Trophy four times; First Citizens Cup champions seven times and are three-time Digicel Charity Shield winners; three-time Toyota Classic winners; six-time Digicel Pro Bowl champions and winners of the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield on two occasions.
Connection also featured in a couple of CONCACAF Champions League classic matches against Mexican club Pumas, but never won the tournament.
The club had for many years drawn top quality players from overseas and T&T. Among their former players are Brazilians Jefferson Goulart and Ronaldo Viana; Jonathan “Fana” Frias from the Dominican Republic, Colombia goalie Alejandro Figueroa; while Earl Jean, Kurt Fredericks, Elijah Joseph and Titus Elva were among a host of top Caribbean footballers who played under Stuart Charles-Fevrier, the long-serving W Connection coach.
Connection also featured top local players such as Kenwyne Jones, who later moved to the English Premier League; Hughton Hector, Reynold Carrington, the deceased Shandon Winchester, brothers Alvin and Joevin Jones, Jomal Williams, Jerrel Brito, Andre Toussaint, Andrei Pacheco, Silvio Spann and goalkeepers Jean-Michael Williams and Marvin Phillip among them.
More recently, current national goalkeeper Denzil Smith and Nathaniel “Natty” James have also represented the club.
During the time away, John-Williams stated W Connection will focus on youth development.
“It is our intention to focus on rebuilding our youth arm from an academy perspective, from a youth team perspective,” she said. “Once there is a youth structure in the upcoming season, it is our intention to participate.”
Commenting on the financial challenges of running a professional club, John-Williams added: “Government subvention isn’t meant to cover anyone’s entire budget. I mean to run a professional team (is) quite exorbitant and the Government subvention is there to be a measure of support to teams.
“...We will always want more,” John-Williams admitted, but said further, “it’s (the subvention) there as a measure of support and the support that we received, it is appreciated.”
SOURCE: T&T Express