Jabloteh to play in community for the first time in 17 years

Photo: San Juan Jabloteh forward Brent Sam (right) prepares a strike during a game against Club Sando.

Thursday 03 March 2016

San Juan Jabloteh technical director/head coach Keith Jeffrey insists that the survival of Pro League clubs is reliant on “taking the football back to community grounds.”

Jeffrey and the “San Juan Kings” will pilot the club’s first return to the community in 17 years when they host Point Fortin Civic on Saturday March 5 in Digicel Pro League action from 4:30pm at the Barataria Recreation Ground, located on the southern end of 6th Avenue in Barataria.

Jeffrey said, “We understand the finances of the club and the country on a whole. We understand that going back into the communities will save clubs from extinction. Sooner than later we will all have to go back to the communities.”

A recent 40 percent deduction in the Government’s subvention to Pro League clubs from TT$83,000 to TT$50,000 has put some clubs in a spin, financially.

Clubs have constantly expressed it’s a hard sell trying to attract supporters at stadia which are located outside their communities and a lot of times difficult to access by persons using public transportation. 

Over the years the Pro League and its Chief Executive Officer Dexter Skeene have stood steadfast on the notion that going back to the communities is vital to the growth and sustainability of the League and its clubs, and have been lobbying various Government administrations for the community grounds to be upgraded and available for professional play.

“All the clubs really wants to be in their communities,” added Jeffrey. “If the Government could help us with the community grounds, it will help us generate income, than just sitting waiting on Government’s subvention.

“It’s also an opportunity to get back in touch with our communities, like Caledonia wants to do in Morvant and North East Stars wants to do in Sangre Grande. Going back to the community is a form of identification.

“It’s what happens in Jamaica. I have been to Jamaica on various occasions in recent times and the crowd support they get in community grounds, with the capacity for a couple thousands, is great.”

Jeffrey doesn’t expect immediate success in crowd support on Saturday, but says, “It’s only by the people coming and support it, it will grow.”

Jeffrey said his club’s management plans make a public announcement in a areas of Barataria, Bourg Malatrese and surrounding areas to inform residents about Saturday's game.

Jabloteh last played in their community in 1999 when they hosted Joe Public at San Juan Senior Comprehensive, now renamed Juan South Secondary, in the Pro League’s forerunner, the Professional Football League (PFL). Jabloteh lost the game 1-0 to a goal that scored from a controversial corner-kick by Angus Eve, who, later in his career served Jabloteh as player before becoming an assistant coach with the San Juan club.

Jeffrey, who took charge of Jabloteh on the club’s return to the Pro League in 2013 after a one-year sabbatical, wants nothing less than a win on Saturday.

“We intend to win the third round of the league—the Kevon Carter trophy,” said Jeffrey who led the “San Juan Kings” to the 2014 Toyota Classic title. “We are on 29 points, and after finishing our first season back with 16 points and last season with 31 points, the plan now is to win the third round.

“The players and the staff all understand what we want to achieve. The nine remaining are like nine finals for us. Civic are just the first hurdle for us.”

Jabloteh, coming off back-to-back wins are fourth on the league standings with 29 points, while ninth-positioned Civic have recorded just one win and 9 losses in their last 12 games. Civic defeated Jabloteh 2-0 this season at the Mahaica Oval on October 20 but the “San Juan Kings” had the last say with a 3-2 win on January 12.

Digicel Pro League 2015/16
Round Three Match Day Two
Friday 04 March 2016
Ato Boldon Stadium
Morvant Caledonia United vs W Connection—6pm
Central FC vs Defence Force—8pm

Saturday 05 March 2016
Mannie Ramjohn Stadium
St. Ann's Rangers vs Club Sando—4pm

Barataria Recreation Ground
San Juan Jabloteh vs Point Fortin Civic—4:30pm

Sunday 06 March 2016
Larry Gomes Stadium
North East Stars vs Police FC—4pm

Outstanding Round Three Match Day One fixtures
Wednesday 09 March 2016
Ato Boldon Stadium

W Connection vs Police FC—6 pm
Larry Gomes Stadium
Morvant Caledonia United vs San Juan Jabloteh—4pm

 

Digicel Pro League 2015/16 standings

#

Team

GP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

1

Central FC

19

13

4

2

47

14

33

43

2

Defence Force

19

11

6

2

45

12

33

39

3

W Connection

18

10

5

3

41

16

25

35

4

San Juan Jabloteh

18

9

2

7

32

29

3

29

5

Police FC

18

8

3

7

42

36

6

27

6

North East Stars

19

7

5

7

23

37

-14

26

7

Club Sando

19

6

2

11

19

34

-15

20

8

Morvant Caledonia Utd

18

5

1

12

18

40

-22

16

9

Point Fortin Civic

19

4

4

11

18

42

-24

16

10

St. Ann’s Rangers

19

2

4

13

17

42

-25

10