Jabloteh clinch CFU return; ‘San Juan Kings’ snatch Kevon Carter trophy along with second place Pro League finish

San Juan Jabloteh players, joined by staff and supporters, celebrate qualifying for the 2017 CFU Club Championship and winning the Digicel Pro League 2015-16 Round Three Kevon Carter trophy following a 1-0 win over North East Stars at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella on May 21, 2016.

Sunday May 22, 2016

San Juan Jabloteh will mark their return to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship – the qualifier tournament to the CONCACAF Champions League – for the first time seven years when they contest the 2017 edition.

This after the former Caribbean champions cemented a top-two finish behind champions Central FC in the 2015-16 Digicel Pro League (DPL) by plucking a 1-0 win over fifth-positioned North East Stars at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on the final day (Saturday) courtesy a second half Tyrone Charles strike.

Jabloteh, undefeated in their last nine league games with 8 wins and one draw, finished with 54 points – four points behind Central (58 points), who were recently crowned, for a second consecutive time, CFU and DPL champions.

Jabloteh, 2003 CFU champions, last competed at the Caribbean tournament in 2010 when they finished third behind champions Puerto Rico Islanders and runners-up Joe Public.

“This shows the club (Jabloteh) and the management made a good decision in putting me here to get Jabloteh back into CFU,” said Keith Jeffrey, who was installed as technical director/head coach when Jabloteh resumed operations for the 2013-14 season following a one-year hiatus due to financial strains after main sponsor CL Financial went into receivership.

Jabloteh, the four-time (2002, 2003, 2007 & 2008) Pro League champions, finished second from bottom on their Pro League return but Jeffrey led the “San Juan Kings” to an improved sixth-position finish in 2014-15. Now after his third season in charge the San Juan club, Jabloteh for the first time since 2009 are celebrating a top-two finish — Jeffrey becoming the club’s first local coach to do so in Trinidad and Tobago professional era. 

Defence Force (49 points), the only team on the final day with a virtual chance of hurdling Jabloteh for the high sought-after CONCACAF Champions League qualifiers spot, finished third, only ahead of W Connection (49 points), who they face in the Digicel Pro Bowl 2016 final on May 27, by a single goal-difference (+31/+30), after rallying from behind to a 1-1 draw with Morvant Caledonia United on Saturday.

The win in Marabella also saw the Jeffrey coached-Jabloteh hold off North East Stars, 25-21 points, to claim the Kevon Carter trophy which is awarded to the team with the highest points tally from Round Three in the DPL.

“As a former Jabloteh player, they (the Jabloteh directors) knew I had the Jabloteh blood in me,” explained the 54-year-old Jeffrey. “Now the board is happy. I am happy from my achievement because the club’s plan was always, within three years, to return to CFU.”

The Jabloteh coach thanked club boss Jerry Hospidales and CEO Azaad Khan for their confidence in appointing him as coach. He also thanked the club’s board for their unwavering support in allowing him freedom “so that success can happen.”

Jeffrey said his success in the past with San Juan North Secondary in secondary schools league, “winning two national titles (InterCol and Big Five) and five zonal titles demonstrated my ability as a coach, and because of the close relationship between Jabloteh and the school, it helped in my appointment as Jabloteh coach. I am also the only coach since 1974 to achieve two national titles with San Juan (North Secondary).”

Jeffrey added that working alongside former Jabloteh coaches, Brazilian Ronaldo Borba and England’s Ricky Hill and Terry Fenwick, helped in his development as a coach.

On Saturday, Tyrone Charles’ deflected goal on the hour mark stood the only goal of the game but Jeffrey believes Jabloteh should have ended with a handful against the Sangre Grande outfit.

“While we needed just a draw [to fulfil our ambitions] we didn’t play that way …we played for the win,” said Jeffrey. “What surprised me though, was that North East Stars didn’t give it a better fight being a team that have done so well in the league in the last couple months. I was happy with our result but we should have scored nothing less than four or five goals.”

Jamaican midfielder Fabian Reid was denied twice in the fifth minute by former Jabloteh goalkeeper Shane Mattis, denying his fellow countryman with a double-save.

But Mattis was unfortunate in the 60th-minute when he was left wrong-sided by Charles’ strike which took a wicked deflection off the boot of defender Kern Navarro.

Grenadian Shemel Louison, one of a handful of foreigners including Jamaica’s Damian Williams and Adrian Reid and Grenada’s Garth Thomas in Jabloteh’s squad, made an excellent save two minutes from time to preserve his side’s marginal lead when he keep out a header from Stars’ substitute Jean-Luc Rochford.

“I am proud of my players all season,” continued Jeffrey. “But while I have a very good group of players, the team aren’t balanced. So now that we are back in CFU and want to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League, it’s my intention to add about five quality players next season so that we can have balance in the team to compete at CFU while operating at the Pro League because the ambition is to go one step further next season by winning the league title.”

Jeffrey hinted that his 2016-17 season signing targets are former Jabloteh players who presently represent top clubs in the Pro League.

Also on Saturday, Point Fortin Civic saved their best for last when they defeated visiting Police FC 5-0 at the Mahaica Oval for their biggest win of the season. The win, only Civic’s third in the last 12 games in all competitions, hurdled the Point Fortin club over Caledonia, both on 22 points, for an eighth-position finish by a single goal difference (-28/-29).

Full Round Three Match Day Nine results
Digicel Pro League 2015-16

Friday May 20, 2016
Club Sando 2
 (Kevon Woodley 22’, Akeem Humphrey 38’) vs W Connection 5 (Malik St. Prix 8’, 57’, Dimitrie Apai 68’, Andre Toussaint 79’, 83’), at the Ato Boldon Stadium;

Central FC 7 (Ricardo John 14’, 48’, 60’, Jason Marcano 63’, 66’, 90’, Kadeem Corbin 84’) vs St. Ann’s Rangers 0, at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Saturday May 21, 2016
San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Tyrone Charles 60’) vs North East Stars 0, at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

Defence Force 1 (Jerwyn Balthazar 57’) vs Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Akim Armstrong 33’), at the Larry Gomes Stadium;

Point Fortin Civic 5 (Jamille Boatswain 5’, 45’, Shane Garraway 50’, Sylvester Teesdale 68’, Bevon Bass 90’) vs Police FC 0, at Mahaica Oval.


Digicel Pro League 2015/16 standings

#

Team

GP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

1

Central FC

27

18

4

5

67

20

47

58

2

San Juan Jabloteh

27

17

3

7

51

36

15

54

3

Defence Force

27

14

7

6

54

23

31

49

4

W Connection

27

14

7

6

54

24

30

49

5

North East Stars

27

13

5

9

42

49

-7

44

6

Police FC

27

12

4

11

57

56

1

40

7

Club Sando

27

9

3

15

35

57

-22

30

8

Point Fortin Civic

27

6

4

17

28

56

-28

22

9

Morvant Caledonia Utd

27

6

4

17

28

57

-29

22

10

St. Ann’s Rangers

27

3

5

19

26

64

-38

14



Kevon Carter (DPL Round Three) trophy standings

#

Team

GP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

1

San Juan Jabloteh

9

8

1

0

19

7

12

25

2

North East Stars

9

7

0

2

21

13

8

21

3

Central FC

9

6

0

3

23

7

16

18

4

W Connection

9

4

2

3

13

8

5

14

5

Defence Force

9

4

1

4

11

12

-1

13

6

Police FC

9

4

1

4

15

20

-5

13

7

Club Sando

9

3

1

5

17

25

-8

10

8

Point Fortin Civic

9

1

0

7

11

17

-6

6

9

Morvant Caledonia Utd

9

1

3

5

10

17

-7

6

10

St. Ann’s Rangers

9

1

1

7

10

24

-14

4

 



Teams at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on Saturday
North East Stars: 1.Shane Mattis (GK), 3.Kion Joseph (6.Jean-Luc Rochford 73rd minute), 4.Jesus Perez, 5.Ryan Stewart, 7.Kerry Daniel (23.Brendon Figuera 72nd minute), 19.Glenton Wolfe, 21.Neil Mitchell, 24.Adrian Noel (14.Chike Sullivan 61st minute), 25.Keryn Navarro, 26.Anthony Wolfe (Capt.), 40.Kerry Baptiste

Unused substitutes: 22.Cleon John (GK), 27.Quincy Charles, 29.Hakim Baird, 41.Reon Moore

Coach: Ross Russell

San Juan Jabloteh: 30.Shemel Louison (GK), 6.Akeem Benjamin, 7.Jamal Gay, 8.Keyon Edwards, 10.Tyrone Charles, 11.Damian Williams (Capt.), 13.Fabian Reid (9.Brent Sam 77th minute), 18.Jevon Morris (4.Garth Thomas minute), 21.Aquil Selby, 23,Kennedy Hinkson (2.Noel Williams 73rd minute), 24.Adrian Reid

Unused substitutes: 14.Sean Bonval, 17.Josiah Trimmingham, 20.Aaquil Campbell, 35.Andrew Durant (GK)

Coach: Keith Jeffrey

Referee: Dennis Changiah

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