Toyota Classic: Confidence on a high as teams set sights on Final

Police FC utility player Elijah Belgrave, airborne, celebrates with head coach Richard Hood, left, while teammate Dexter Alleyne joins in.
Wednesday 3 December 2014

“Jabloteh are playing well but I think we have enough ammunition to dispose of them,” Police FC head coach, Richard Hood, said this week, looking ahead to Saturday’s Toyota Classic semi-final round clash against Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh.

Police and Jabloteh will tackle each other in semi-final one from 5 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium followed by WASA FC against Point Fortin Civic from 7 pm in semi-final two.

Police defeated last season’s defeated semi-finalists Guaya United 2-1 in the preliminary before out-shooting Defence Force 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the quarter final round to reach the semi finals.

“We feel great about reaching the final,” continued Hood. “We have been playing well and working hard. And we’ve gotten our reward for that work.

“We are confident. We know they (Jabloteh) have improved since our last meeting but we are confident.

“We expect a physical game [because] they have some big guys [in attach] and [in defence] and also some skilful players. But you can expect a tough and disciplined approach by our team.”

Meanwhile coach Keith Jeffrey, who has Jabloteh presently seated second on the Digicel Pro League standings, only ahead of third positioned Police by goals-difference, is celebrating his second semi-final berth of the season.

“It’s been a tremendous journey so far,” said Jeffrey. “We’ve reached two semi-finals and are second in the league and unbeaten. This is all good for the players and the club.”

Jabloteh stormed past the preliminary round with a 4-0 win over Super League outfit 1976 FC Phoenix before edging last season’s defeated finalists Club Sando 1-0 in the quarter final round.

Jeffrey said that Jabloteh’s rich history, together with the organisation and its supporters involved, suggests that the team should be in the semi-final round and even the Final.

He said that both Jabloteh and Police are two good teams that know each other well and believes that Saturday’s winner will go on to win the Toyota Classic.

“Police will be competitive,” Jeffrey continued. “Police want to win because they were close [to last season’s Digicel Pro Bowl title] but ended far and will want to correct that.”

WASA FC stands as the only Super League team and head coach Marvin Faustin fancies his chances of leading the “Water Boys” all the way to the title.

WASA ousted last season’s winners W Connection in the preliminary round with a 4-3 penalty kicks win following a 1-1 draw before getting past Caledonia AIA 2-1 in the quarter final round.

While Civic whipped St. Ann’s Rangers 3-0 in the preliminary round before overcoming Central FC 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 draw in the quarter final round.

“It’s a great experience and a motivation for our players,” said the WASA coach. “The journey has been a success but the real competition is the big four and it’s a matter of continuing our momentum.

“We believe we will be successful. Once we do what we have to do, with the experience we have, we can be successful. We don’t much about the opponent (Civic). We have to sharpen some areas but we will be coming to play our football,” ended the former Trinidad and Tobago international.

Civic’s head coach, Reynold Carrington, another former T&T star, said his team is deserving of the semi-final spot, which serves as a confidence booster for the Point Fortin club.

“This is a great time for us as we are focused on team building,” Carrington said. “We are at a stage where the team can compete. Reaching the semi-final is a boost for our confidence level.”

He, however, admitted that it won’t be easy against the Super League outfit that boasts the likes of former T&T star Stern John and former Pro League standouts such as forward Gary Glasgow and goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel.

“The top four teams in the Super League can compete with the Pro League. They have experience with guys like Stern John and Gary Glasgow so we won’t be taking them lightly. It’s important for us to get a good start and stamp our authority on the game,” ended the Civic coach.

New to the Toyota Classic this season, each competing teams were required to select a Secondary Schools Football League’s (SSFL) team from within their community.

The SSFL teams chosen by the 2014 Toyota Classic finalists will meet in the first match of a double header on the Final day on December 12.

Jabloteh selected East Intercol champions San Juan North Secondary while Police have Fatima College; Civic have Point Fortin East Secondary; and WASA with St. Augustine Senior Secondary.

Toyota Classic 2014
Semi Final Round
Saturday 6 December 2014
Ato Boldon Stadium
San Juan Jabloteh vs Police FC—5 pm
WASA FC vs Point Fortin Civic—7 pm

Final
Friday 12 December 2014