On guard N/E Stars ready for vengeful Army in Lucozade Sport Goal Shield semis

Angus EveNorth East Stars Head Coach and former soldier Angus Eve says he is fully aware of what to expect against Defence Force when the two clubs clash on Friday in semi-final one of the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield.

Stars, 1-0 winners over Central FC in the quarter-final round and a former winner of the tournament, will take on Defence Force from 6pm at the Marvin Lee Stadium, followed by semi-final two between defending champions Caledonia AIA and inaugural winners DIRECTV W Connection from 8pm.

Not only considering Defence Force’s position at the top of the Digicel Pro League standing and recent 6-1 win over T&TEC in the Goal Shield quarter-final round, Eve predicts probably the Sangre Grande club’s toughest challenge.

“The fact that we defeated them(Defence Force) in the Final of the Toyota Classic (this season) and in our most recent League match says that they are coming hard against us,” said Eve, who is very familiar with the military temperament after serving four years in the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force before joining Joe Public as a player back in 1998.

Cornell Glen“It’s a difficult [attempt to reaching the Final],” added the former T&T midfielder. “Defence Force are probably champions elect already. They have a good team and (Head Coach) Ross Russell is someone I have a lot of respect for.”

But despite the challenge ahead and major injury concerns, Eve is prepared to go to war.

Not promising a lot of goals, the North East Stars Head Coach said, “It’s not about how many goals… it’s about winning.”

Key striker Cornell Glen remains with a question mark after making a premature exit before the break in the win against Central because of a calve strain which poses somewhat of a problem for Eve.

“This season our goals came from just Cornell or Elijah,” he said.

Glen, who contributed by setting up the early winner scored by Elijah Manners, is expected to undergo physical assessment along with defenders Elton John and Glenton Wolfe which will decided their involvement in the Goal Shield semi-final according to Eve.

“It’s a bit of a calve strain,” he said on the question of Glen. “The (Marvin Lee Stadium) is a very compromising surface when thinking of Cornell who has been hampered by niggling inquiries. We have been treating it and will be doing a fitness test to see if he can play (Friday).”

Reflecting on his debut season as head coach of a professional outfit thus far, the former San Juan Jabloteh and Ma Pau SC assistant coach said, “Winning the Toyota Classic, still being in contention for a top three finish in the League and reaching the semi-final round of the Goal Shield has already pleased our chairman (Darryl Mahabir).

“I can also say our defensive game is very good. We are the only undefeated team in the final round of the League so far. We have been doing well against the top teams, but dropped points against lower teams. That has been our Achilles’ heel all season, ended Eve.”