TT Pro League

Category: TT Pro League

Joe Public leaves for SVG Group C series

Joe Public goalmachine Kerry BaptisteTop forward Kerry Baptiste will lead an 18-man Bmobile Joe Public squad which will leave this morning to contest Group C of the Caribbean Football Union’s Club Champions Cup in St Vincent and The Grenadines from tomorrow until Tuesday.

The “Eastern Lions”, winners of a historic five titles during last year’s domestic season including the Digicel T&T Pro League and FA Trophy will face Suriname’s Leo Victor followed by matches against Bermuda’s Devonshire Cougars on Sunday and Avenues United of the host nation on Tuesday night.

The group is one of four in the CFU region to select its trio of qualifiers for next season’s Concacaf Champions League. This year’s tournament is a three-round event that will conclude with a final, four-team league phase that will run from May 4 to 8 in Puerto Rico.

The 28-year-old Baptiste, who will have Trinidad and Tobago international teammate Trent Noel as his deputy, netted a record 48 goals in all competitions last season and returned to Joe Public late last month after trial with English Championship Division club, Ipswich Town.

Following yesterday’s final training session at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya, coach Derek King said his team, two-time CFU winners were very confident of progressing from Group C.

“We have a played a number of practice matches and the results have been great so we know that we have continued with the winning attitude from last season.

“Kerry Baptiste is also back with us to start the season and he will no doubt add more quality to a team that already has a lot of talent in Trent Noel, Carlyle Mitchell, Hayden Tinto and Gorean Highley to name a few,” added King, now in his second season in charge.

Missing out on the trip to St Vincent is Japanese midfielder, Yu Hoshide,who picked up an injury in the pre-season match with Caledonia and has been told to rest for ten days.

The four group winners, runners-up and best third-place team will advance to the second round along with seeded sides Puerto Rico Islanders, Tempete FC of Haiti, and San Juan Jabloteh of T&T.

The teams will then be divided into four, three-team groups with Puerto Rico and T&T hosting two groups each. The Islanders, the Group D winner, and Group A runner-up will participate in one of the Puerto Rico groups, with the other group consisting of Tempete, the Group B winner, and the Group C runner-up.

One of the T&T groups will comprise Jabloteh, the best third-place team, and the Group A winner, while the other will be made up of the Group C winner, along with the runners-up of Groups B and D.

The four second-round group winners will then advance to the final league phase in Puerto Rico. A new CFU champion will be crowned after last year’s winner and four-time champions W Connection (2001, 2002, 2006 and 2009) failed to secure a top two finish in the T&T Pro League which guarantees a place in the tournament.

Last year, W Connection defeated Islanders 2–1 with Dominican Republic striker Jonathan Fana Frias, now on loan at the same club, scoring both goals.

Joe Public squad:

Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip, Glenroy Samuel
Defenders: Carlyle Mitchell, Charles Pollard, Kieon Goodridge, Nigel Daniel, Jason Springer, Makan Hislop.
Midfielders: Kareem Young, Trent Noel (vice-captain), Marcus Joseph, Hayden Tinton, Andre Toussaint, Micah Lewis, Gorean Highley.
Forwards: Conrod Smith, Kerry Baptiste (captain), Trent Lougheed.

Technical staff: Derek King (coach), Dale Saunders (asst coach), Sam Phillip (manager), David Prince (fitness trainer), Adisa Davis (physiotherapists), Coulson Dick (equipment manager).

CFU Club Champions Cup schedule
Group C - At St Vincent & the Grenadines:

Leo Victor (Sur) vs Joe Public (T&T)
Avenues United (SVG) vs. Devonshire Cougars (Ber)

Devonshire Cougars (Ber) vs Leo Victor (Sur)
Avenues United (SVG) vs Joe Public (T&T)

Joe Public (T&T) vs Devonshire Cougars (Ber)
Avenues United (SVG) vs Leo Victor (Sur)