W Connection chase season fifth title in Digicel Pro Bowl

"Savonnetta Boys" opens defence against Caledonia

TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene and Digicel (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited's Wendy Alleyne, both taking centre stage with the Digicel Pro Bowl trophy, along with Digicel Brand Ambassadors and representing players from various Pro League clubs on May 6, 2014

8 May 2014

Fresh from clinching the 2013-2014 Digicel Pro League title, and in chase a fifth domestic title this season, W Connection will open its defence of Digicel Pro Bowl on Friday 9 May against Caledonia AIA from 8 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in the quarter-final round.

The quarter-final match-ups for the 2014 Pro Bowl – the final knockout tournament on the Pro League calendar which carries a $100,000 winners' prize – were revealed in a random draw during the official launch on Thursday afternoon at the President's Box of the Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain.

Last season's defeated finalist North East Stars, who were edged 4-3 on penalties against Connection following a goalless draw in 2013, will meet rivals Central FC from 8 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in this season's quarter-final round.

While simultaneously from 6 pm at both venues, San Juan Jabloteh, who defeated St. Ann’s Rangers 2-0 in the Pro Bowl qualifier a week ago, will meet Police FC at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, and Point Fortin Civic against Defence Force at the Ato Boldon stadium.
W Connection players celebrate a goal during their 4-1 win over defending champions Defence Force to clinch the 2013-2014 Digicel Pro League crown on May 6, 2014
“We are taking things step by step,” said Connection midfielder Silvio Spann, whose side have already won this season’s Digicel Charity Shield, Toyota Classic, FA Trophy and the League title.

“We are not over confident but we have a bit of form right now,” continued the veteran midfielder. “We respect our opponents and we are going to take the games one step at a time.”

He admitted, “There is always pressure when you’re playing football because you are always as good as your last game. The last game was pretty ok.”

W Connection have won the Pro Bowl in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2013.

On Tuesday Connection clinched the League title, with a game to spare, by hammering the then defending champions, Defence Force, 4-1 at the Couva venue.

Defence Force head coach Ross Russell with his final attempt at title this season, like five other teams in the tournament, said, “We have to start rebuilding so you will see a lot of new faces in our squad. The veterans had a good run at it but in this tournament, some of them will be on show, and some will be left out.”

Speaking during the launch, TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene reminded clubs, “We have reached the finale for the 2013-2014 season.

“The final competition is upon us and if what has transpired [this season] is any indication of things to come, we are expecting a truly exciting Digicel Pro Bowl.

Skeene thanked Digicel for its partnership and contribution to the marketing and execution of the tournament.

He also included a quote from former South Africa president, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, and philanthropist, Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it's done.”

Central FC’s head coach Terry Fenwick used the opportunity on Thursday to congratulate bitter Couva rivals W Connection on winning the League title, and also praised the effort of Defence Force after a roller-coaster ride this season.

Commenting on his team’s quarter-final opponents, North East Stars, Fenwick who guided the "Sharks" to this season's First Citizens Cup and Lucozade Sport Goal Shield, said, “North East Stars have always been a torn in our side. Actually we have outplayed them in all of the season but came out second best. But we all know what they do: sit very deep in midfield, play one guy up front and play long balls over the top and they get lucky. So we are expecting a tough game.

"We have won two titles but we would like to go on and win something else. As Central’s sides have always been, we are going to be competitive, right up for every game whoever we play, and are looking forward whoever in the Final.”
Wendy Alleyne, Marketing and Strategic Partnership Manager - Digicel (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited during the launch of the 2014 Digicel Pro Bowl on May 6, 2014
Digicel’s Marketing and Strategic Partnership Manager (Trinidad and Tobago) Wendy Alleyne, in her address during 2014 Pro Bowl launch, said, "Digicel is proud to sponsor this exciting competition which we are particularly delighted to see has grown over the years, getting bigger and better.

“Digicel is cognizant of the extraordinary benefits and value that any sport can bring to the youth and indeed to the wider society and its positive effect on lives. We therefore continue our drive to support the vast amount of talent on display throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

"It is this conviction that has propelled us to partner with organisations such as the Pro League to assist in the development of sport in a meaningful way.”

Alleyne thanked the League for allowing Digicel to partner again for a fifth consecutive year, and the players for consistently showing the mobile network provider why it is a worthwhile investment.

2014 Digicel Pro Bowl
Quarter Final Round
Friday 9 May
Hasely Crawford Stadium
San Juan Jabloteh vs Police FC—6 pm
Caledonia AIA vs W Connection—8 pm

Ato Boldon Stadium
Point Fortin Civic vs Defence Force—6 pm
North East Stars vs Central FC—8 pm

Semi-Final Round
Friday 16 May

Friday 23 May