Sando seek revenge for opening loss against Morvant Caledonia

Photo: Club Sando midfielder Keron Cornwall rises to control off his chest ahead of North East Stars defender Elton John during a 2016/17 Pro League clash at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Feb. 9, 2017.

Club Sando head coach Angus Eve strongly believe his players are better prepared to tackle Morvant Caledonia United in the reverse fixture of this season’s truncated (two rounds) 2017 Pro League calendar, when both sides face each other from 8pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday.

“I think there is more to wanting just a win against Caledonia,” said Eve. “Traditionally I have always gotten the better of (Morvant Caledonia head coach) Jamaal Shabazz anywhere I have coached.”

It would be one of four North-versus-South clashes over a five-day period in the PL (see full Round Two Match Day One fixtures below), but first Defence Force and Police FC will renew the longest running rivalry of Trinidad and Tobago football when they face each other from 6pm at the Port-of-Spain venue.

 


Morvant Caledonia, one of only two teams to defeat Sando this season, snapped an all-time one hundred percent winless run of six games against the southerners with a 2-1 win league on June 9—the start of the current season.

“Angus is a little upstart that I like,” Shabazz told www.ttproleague.com. “And because of that it’s always interesting to come up against the teams he has coached. They (Sando) were our first and only win of the season thus far, and we want to go all out to add another three points to our tally.”

Sando went on to lose against W Connection 3-1 in their second game but have since then recorded a six-game undefeated run and currently occupy second position with 14 points, two adrift of leaders North East Stars but only ahead of third-place Connection by goal-difference.

Sando finished seventh on their debut season (2015/16) at the top flight under coach Anthony Streete and have been steadily on the rise since the arrival of Eve, finishing fifth in their second season (2016/17) and are now positioned as a league title contender.

Morvant Caledonia (7 points) meanwhile, are seventh on the standings and wedged between sixth-place Defence Force and eight-place Police, all separated by a point of each other.

But Shabazz’s squad, led for talented ‘keeper Glenroy Samuel, have been undefeated in four of their last six outings, and are on a three-game undefeated run.

“I know this game will have a lot of motivation for Jamaal (Shabazz), other than facing a couple former players of his again,” continued Eve. “He is a professional at what he does, which will make this a very competitive game.

““But we are more up for this game than when we met them (Morvant Caledonia) at the beginning of the season. They were the only team we didn’t know of, such as their player personnel and so on before the start of the season. When we met them at the start of the season their energy levels were really high and we weren’t prepared for such opponents in the first two games.

“But I’ve faced them, seen them against another opponent, and I know the individuals they have. And we are better prepared to face those types of teams match fitness-wise. We are six games without a loss and we would like to extend this form against Caledonia.”

Ex-Morvant Caledonia captain Akim Armstrong will again be among a feisty Sando bunch, which includes no-nonsense defenders Nicholas Thomas and Trevin Latapy and attacking midfielder Keron Cornwall.

Armstrong joined Sando in pre-season after seven years attached to Morvant Caledonia, barring a lengthy spell on the side-lined through injury and a stint in Finland.

Nical Stephens, Keyon Edwards, Tyrone Charles and Jamal Gay are also former Morvant Caledonia players with the latter three joining Sando via San Juan Jabloteh in pre-season.

“We look forward to meeting these sons of Caledonia,” Shabazz said. “…because it’s important for them to know who their daddy is.”

Gay, however, has not represented Sando in a single game and was released last month with the Pro League mid-season transfer window (Aug. 17 – Sep. 18) approaching, while Joel Russell, an ex-Morvant Caledonia, W Connection and Jabloteh defender, is to miss a fourth straight game due a tonsillitis.

“He (Russell) has started back training but isn’t back to full fitness yet due to a really bad case of tonsillitis where he couldn’t eat for five days straight and lost a lot of muscle,” explained Eve who is still without midfielder Akeem Humphrey due to a broken foot suffered in pre-season. Humphrey is  expected to return to full training in ,

Trinidad and Tobago Pro League 2017
Round Two Match Day One
(Friday 11 August 2017)
Hasely Crawford Stadium
Police FC vs Defence Force FC—6pm
Morvant Caledonia United vs Club Sando—8pm

Mahaica Oval
Point Fortin Civic vs North East Stars—6pm

(Saturday 12 August 2017)
St. Augustine Secondary Ground
St. Ann's Rangers vs W Connection—4:30pm

(Tuesday 15 August 2017)
Barataria Oval
San Juan Jabloteh vs Central FC—6pm