A 27-mam Caledonia AIA contingent has left Trinidad for the Cayman Islands via Barbados and Jamaica to contest the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship Second Round qualifiers from Sunday.
It will be the second straight appearance for the Jamaal Shabazz coached Caledonia in the competition and its third overall.
Last year Caledonia, making its first appearance since 1998 reached the quarterfinal round before being knockout out by Haiti’s Tempete, 3-2 on penalty-kicks after both teams had 1-0 home wins in their home-and-away series.
The three other teams which will be involved in the four-team group in Group Four to be played at TE Mc Field Sports Centre, George Town, Cayman Islands are two-time defending champion Puerto Rico Islanders, Group One winner and host club George Town and Haiti’s Baltimore which advanced as the best runner-up from the three groups.
Caledonia and Islanders were handed first round byes to the second while Baltimore got the best runner-up ahead of Guyana’s Alpha United from Group Two.
The top two teams from the Cayman Islands series will join TT Pro League champions, W Connection and Antigua Barracudas in the four-team Final Round to determine the CFU champions and the three berths for next season’s Concacaf Champions League per tournament regulations.
Barracudas and four-time CFU champions W Connection (2001, 2002, 2006 and 2009) qualified as the top two teams from their Second Round Group Five series.
Caledonia left Trinidad on the heels of a disappointing 5-2 defeat against Defence Force in the Final of the Digicel Pro Bowl on Thursday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium which halted the Morvant/Laventille club’s quest for four domestic titles this season having won the First Citizens Cup, FA Trophy and Lucozade Sport Goal Shield.
Prior to Thursday’s Final, Shabazz told the Trinidad Guardian that the match with will be the perfect send off for his team as its heads to the CFU Club Championship.
He added, “We cannot ask for a better match or opponent to help up get ready for a tournament like that because all our matches against Defence Force are tough battles.”
Caledonia squad: Kevin Graham(gk), Zane Coker(gk), Ronson Williams(gk), Stephan David(captain), Walter Moore, Collin Nelson, Keyon Edwards, Abdallah Phillips, Conrod Smith, Makesi Lewis, Jamal Gay, Devorn Jorsling, Sheldon Holder, Trayon Bobb, Kemron Purcell, Kareem Joseph, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Nuru Abdullah Mohammad, Trevin Ceasar, Aquil Selby, Cornelius Stewart, Nathan Lewis.
Technical staff: Jamal Shabazz (coach), Jerry Moe (assistant coach), Ricarda Nelson (manager), Steve Frederick (equipment manager/goalkeeper coach), Dave Isaac (physiotherapist).