Caledonia to try and break winless spell on Tuesday against Police

Image shows Caledonia AIA Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz and players Abdallah Phillips, Shemel Louison and Nathan LewisCaledonia AIA, winless after seven matches in all competitions this season, will attempt to break the spell on Tuesday 8 October when the Morvant/Laventille club meets Police FC from 6pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Round One Match Day Three of the Digicel Pro League.

Caledonia, sixth on the league standings with 1 point earned in a goalless draw against Central FC in Round One Match Day Two, are coming off a 1-0 quarter-final round defeat against Defence Force, one week ago, in the First Citizens Cup—a title the Jamaal Shabazz coached-club won in 2011 and 2012.

Meanwhile Defence Force, 2002 and 2009 First Citizens Cup winners, advanced to the Final and will meet debuting finalists, Central FC, on Friday 18 October at the Hasely Crawford Stadium for the title.

Both finalists got past the semi-final round last Friday at the Ato Boldon Stadium by way of the kicks from the penalty spot. Defence Force 4-3 against Jabloteh following a 2-2 draw, and Central 3-2 following a goalless draw against bitter town rivals DIRECTV W

In the second match of the league double header at the Port of Spain venue on Tuesday, defending league champions Defence Force will meet North East Stars from 8pm.

And a simultaneous double header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, in Couva, will see St. Ann’s Rangers tackle high rolling Point Fortin Civic from 6pm, then leaders, W Connection, tackles San Juan Jabloteh and leading goalscorer Kerry Baptiste, from 8pm.

Baptiste, the 2009 TT Pro League/Toyota Player of the Year and famed by 48 goals in the same year, has found a new life at his former club by already netting 6 goals in three matches; triple times the amount of goals scored by Caledonia AIA in all competitions this season.

Caledonia defender Aubrey David (L) and Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz following a 5-1 defeat against Toluca in SeptemberCaledonia’s problems this season includes four defeats in Group 6 of the 2013-14 Concacaf Champions League group stage home and away series against Mexico’s
Deportivo Toluca and Guatemala’s CSD Comunicaciones; a 3-0 loss to North East Stars in Round One Match Day One of the Digicel Pro League, along with the goalless draw in Match Day Two and the First Citizens Cup quarter-final round defeat.

Not the sort of results streak one would expect of last season’s First Citizens Cup and the FA Trophy winners, Digicel Pro League runners-up, and who qualified out of the Caribbean for its second consecutive Concacaf Champions League.

And the season before that, Caledonia also enjoyed title success in the FA Trophy and First Citizens Cup, the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield and were the Caribbean champions for the first time in the club’s history.

“The success of last season demands greater commitments from us,” said Shabazz. “Unfortunately we are learning that the hard way.”

Caledonia have conceded 16 goals already this season, scoring just 2, but like the times of miserable fortunes in past, Shabazz says his club doesn’t intend to give up.

“We refused to bow then, and again, now we will commit ourselves to getting out of this slump with our performance,” he said.

Shabazz, who led the Morvant/Laventille club to more titles in the last two years than the club’s 34 year-old history all together, shared, “(…)this is a bad start, but we have been here before and ended well.

“In my experience how you start is important but where you finish at the end of the season is the real test.

“Off course we have got to reexamine our approach and some of the things we have been doing or not doing. (But) we are confident that the season is a journey and we accept every aspect of its pathways.

“Football is a part of our life and in life you face difficulties sometimes. This is a tough period for us but one that I hope will help shape our character.”

Digicel Pro League Championship
Round One Match Day Three
Tuesday 8 October 2013
Hasely Crawford Stadium
Caledonia AIA vs Police FC—6pm
Defence Force vs North East Stars—8pm

Ato Boldon Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Point Fortin Civic FC—6pm
W Connection vs San Juan Jabloteh—8pm