PFL November News

October news

Monday November 20th, 2000
Joe Public youths for Grenada

THE Joe Public Under-17 squad flies out to Grenada today to play the country’s national Under-17 team in a practice match at the new Grenada Stadium. That game starts at 7 p.m.

It will be followed by a tournament at the same venue from November 22-26 . The Grenada team is expected to use that competition as preparation for the 2001 Youth World Cup to be held in Trinidad and Tobago next year.

However, the Joe Public team, coached by Lester Young and managed by Anthony Roberts, will take no part in that competition. They return home on Sunday.

Club owner Jack Austin Warner made the trip possible after his Under-17s won the EFA’s league competition.

                  WCFC bid for PFL lead

Sports Desk

THE PFL lead is a victory away for Vibe CT W Connection. But today at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence, Joe Public stand between the Southerners and their goal.

Second in the inaugural league competition last year, W Connection have the opportunity to make retaining the PFL crown somewhat more difficult a proposition for the Defence Force.

Two points adrift of the Army (48) ahead of today's rescheduled round 26 encounter, W Connection can with a win give themselves some much needed momentum for the final two rounds of action.

They do have the scoring power. Earlier in the week, Connection scored 14 goals in three matches in their Group 3 Caribbean Zone Club Championship campaign. José Marîa Manoel and Titus Elva have been the pair who have had opposing goalkeepers on edge all season. And there is no real reason why the pair should not have the same effect on Joe Public’s Michael McComie today.

But enjoying the advantage of playing at home, the “Eastern Lions” are unlikely to be an easy hurdle to overcome. They certainly are not going to be giving any quarter.

Captain Angus Eve and his teammates too have a chance to stay in the hunt if they can steal a victory. That would put them on 46 points, possibly good enough it seems at the moment for second spot.

Adrian Narine, who has taken over attacking duties following the injury to Arnold Dwarika some weeks ago, and Nigel Pierre are the players entrusted with the responsibility of scoring the goals that could achieve a positive result for the Lions.

Whatever the effectiveness of Pierre and Narine, WCFC skipper Reynold Carrington will feel that his strikers can outperform the Public forwards.Now all that remains to be done is for them to justify his faith in them by getting past McComie more often than their Joe Public counterparts can beat their own custodian.

Connection stake claim


IT WAS fantastic Friday for southern football fans.

No sooner had they taken hold of one prized trophy, the Royal Bank Intercol title, courtesy Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) team Naparima College, Professional Football League (PFL) outfit Vibe CT 105 W.Connection gave them hope of securing another.

A goal in stoppage time of the first half sealed a tense battle at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence on Friday night between W.Connection and hosts Joe Public.

There was some anxiety near the close as WCFC substitute Alan Xavier received marching orders with ten minutes remaining but the visitors eventually held out for a 2-1 win.

Coach Stuart Charles-Février’s team now heads the PFL table—one point ahead of defending champions Defence Force—and, with just two fixtures remaining, have an excellent chance of copping their first ever league title.

The southerners would hope to press home their advantage at 3.30 p.m. today when they play Caledonia AIA in Couva.

The Army/Coast Guard combination will aim to keep the pressure on as they face Arima Fire in Arima while CLF San Juan Jabloteh have no room for error when they tackle Doc’s Khelwalaas at the Queen’s Park Oval.

For Joe Public, who take on table-proppers Police at Macoya today, the only incentive will be improving their placing. All PFL games begin at 3.30 pm. Things were much closer between Joe Public and WCFC prior to Friday’s kick off, though.

When referee Patrick Hunte blew his whistle to start the match at 7 p.m., Joe Public coach Clayton Morris knew that nothing less than victory would keep the Eastern Lions in the hunt for top league honours. In the event, forewarned was not forearmed. After just 19 minutes, they were already trailing. In a rare attack by the visitors, captain Reynold Carrington chipped the ball hopefully into space at the edge of the Joe Public penalty area. Striker José Manoel was first to react, flicking the ball from foot to head back to foot before lobbing the ball goalward.

As Coulson Dick and left wing-back Adaryll John stood flat-footed, Brazilian midfielder Ronaldo Vaina nipped in from the right flank to dispatch the ball with aplomb from point blank range through the legs of Joe Public custodian Michael McComie.

Six minutes later, Joe Public were back on level terms after Hunte awarded a penalty for an off-the-ball incident involving their captain Angus Eve. The call failed to draw protests from the large southern contingent only because no one could honestly say that they had seen what had happened.

As he had done for T&T against Panama on Wednesday, Nigel Pierre made no mistake, coolly driving the ball high to Connection goalkeeper Anthony Clarke’s left. But if onlookers had lost the chance to protest what may or may not have been a dubious penalty decision, Hunte made amends in even stranger fashion.

A foul by Public sweeper Pierre Bruny on a goalbound Earl Jean went uncensored while a tug by WCFC’s Paolo Roberto on Eve’s shirt earned him an automatic caution.

Yet even in his interpretation of dangerous or unsporting play, Hunte was inconsistent as he failed to book Public substitute Cyd Gray for pulling Roberto’s shirt for near 30 seconds right in front of him. In the end, Roberto had the last word as his backheader from an in-swinging José Seabra corner decided the match at the stroke of halftime.

And despite the expulsion of Xavier—who apparently talked his way to his second yellow card—the southerners were able to hold on for the win while bolstering their excellent away record which shows just one loss this season.

So a second title may well be heading south. There is still some unfinished PFL business for WCFC to attend to today and Friday though.

Monday November 14th, 2000

Khelwalaas turn back Caledonia


A NON-CALL by the referee and a defensive error gave Doc’s Khelwalaas a 2-0 victory over Caledonia AIA in their Round 26 PFL match at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence yesterday.

The two lapses first by the referee and then by Caledonia captain Gerald Brice cost coach Jamal Shabbazz’s team the match on a very slick and muddy turf.

In the other bottom of the table encounter at the Arima Velodrome, no winner emerged. Arima Fire and Police ended 90 minutes of play with the score 1-1.

But at the COE: an otherwise even game was turned around in the 54th minute of the game.

After Caledonia keeper Anthony Marshall had the ball safely in his possession from a right side corner, Doc’s striker Randolph Jerome made contact with Marshall, bundling him and the ball over the goalline. To the astonishment of the handful of spectators, the referee made no call.

In the 71st minute came the error.

Brice and Ronald Priaus failed to use Marshall to relieve the pressure applied by Ashford Legerton on the left flank. And when Brice had one touch too many, Legerton simply dispossessed him and let loose a low right-footer past Marshall who had rushed out in a vain attempt to narrow the angle.

Earlier in the first half, each side’s attackers had good chances that they failed to convert with the Doc’s Collie Hercules and Caledonia’s Trevor Puckerin being the most guilty of missing from close up.

Yesterday’s scores

Caledonia 0 Doc’s Khelwalaas 2 (Ashford Legerton, Jermaine Scott)
Arima Fire1 (Devon Mitchell) Police1(Keon Archie) 

WCFC mauls Strikers
ST JOHN'S - Trinidad and Tobago Professional Football League outfit Vibe CT 105 W Connection moved to the top of Group III in the Concacaf Club Championship play-off series in Antigua yesterday. The south outfit crushed Dominican club Strikers 11-0 at Antigua Recreation Ground.

The result gave WCFC the advantage atop the four-team table on goal differential over Antigua's Empire, both teams with four points. Empire drew 1-1 with Jamaica's Tivoli Gardens in the second game.

Brazilian Jose Maria Manoel led the way for WCFC with five goals (14th, 63rd, 75th, 78th & 88th). Titus Elva got three (79th, 80th & 81st) while Paulo Roberto Dos Santos (42nd), Reynold Carrington (85th) and Gefferson da Silva Goulart (89th) got the others. 

Jabloteh,Cascadia secure jobs for young players

PROFESSIONAL Football League team, CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh has struck up a partnership with Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre of St Ann's that would land its young players jobs. Launched Friday at Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, minutes before the team's goalless draw with Defence Force, personnel of Jabloteh announced the formation of a Jabloteh Job Club.

This initiative will provide school-leavers, associated with the club, with full and part-time employment at Cascadia Hotel and other companies from the Gillette Group of Companies to which the hotel belongs. "Through this effort, aspiring professional players will be exposed to the world of work, gain valuable experience and understand the meaning of a positive work ethic," said Peter Miller, the club's commercial manager.

"As the club grows in its understanding of the organisational infrastructure indispensable to the development of a professional sporting culture, it has become painfully aware of the need to expend greater efforts to assist players in the transition from amateur status," added Miller. In an effort to elicit greater consistency in performance, for each game of the 2001 season the club's pre-match regime will now include the overnight housing of the team at the hotel. This will include overnight accommodation, eve-of-match evening meals and match-day breakfast and lunch. It has also extended an invitation to Jabloteh for a pre-season live-in camp.

During the 2000 season, Jabloteh enjoyed weekly use of the hotel's gym and swimming pool as well as regular use of its conference facilities for hosting player development seminars and technical sessions. All these facilities will also be retained in 2001. In addition, the hotel provided accommodation for teams from the United Kingdom (Sheffield and Newcastle United) and several football executives from foreign clubs on official business with Jabloteh. 

Arima Fire let loose on Police

FOUR teams in the lower half of the standings in the Professional Football League will be in action today. Smarting from its shock 3-2 victory over Defence Force last Wednesday in the FA Trophy, Arima Fire will be making a bold bid to defeat Police today in a bottom-of-the-table clash. This match will be played at Arima Municipal Stadium, from 3.30 pm.

Caledonia AIA, another of the teams struggling near the rear, will face Doc's Khelwalaas at CONCACAF Centre of Excellence, Macoya, starting at the same time.


Public slams 5 on Robin Hood
 DEFENDING champions Joe Public has one foot in the finals of the CONCACAF Club Soccer Championships (Caribbean Zone) in early December. Following up its 2-0 win over Guinness Harlem Bombers of Dominica on Wednesday, the "Eastern Lions" shut out Robin Hood (Suriname) 5-0 at the Dr João Havalange Centre of Excellence, Macoya, yesterday. And now has a maximun six points with one game remaining in Group I.

National midfielder Angus Eve, wearing the skipper's arm-band for Joe Public, led by example as he banged in the first two goals.

Kerwyn "Hardest" Jemmott then got his second goal in as many games to give the Public a 3-0 lead at the halftime interval. The affair was over soon after the resumption when an own goal gave Joe Public a 4-0 lead.
Ansil Elcock, on loan from Major League Soccer outfit Columbus Crew, then rounded off the scoring five minutes from time. Robin Hood had been held to a 2-2 draw by FC Sithoc of the Netherlands Antilles in its opening match Wednesday night.

Sithoc and Harlem Bombers were involved in the second match of the double-header at the CoE last night.
Joe Public will play Sithoc tomorrow (6.15 pm) while Robin Hood meets Harlem Bombers (4 pm) to round off play in the group. Meanwhile, action in Group III featuring T&T's other side, Vibe CT 105 W Connection, will kick off next Tuesday in Antigua and Barbuda.

Army, Jabloteh draw blank

Sports Desk

AS referee Noel Bynoe blew the final whistle in yesterday evening's goalless Professional Football League (PFL) encounter between Defence Force and CLF Jabloteh, he was met by a barrage of insults from supporters of either team.

"That ref was on his own mission," said one scowling observer at the Queen's Park Oval.

To be fair to the match officials, though, there was little else for the sprinkling of onlookers to discuss.

Defence Force midfielder Dean Pacheco sent efforts with either foot just over the crossbar while striker Jason Scotland ran constantly at the opposing defence. But it was all inconclusive, really.

For all his running, Scotland never looked capable of getting around lanky Jabloteh sweeper Kerwyn Jack while Pacheco's shooting flattered but consistently disappointed.

On the other end, Jabloteh chased the ball for lengthy periods of the match and their midfield failed to offer prolific striker Ralston James the service that he has thrived on for the past three seasons.

In retrospect, the final scoreline was a predictable one. With damp conditions underfoot and an unsympathetic sun overhead, the spoils always seemed likely to go to the team with more heart. Neither squad qualified.

At the end of the first half, Defence Force had enjoyed the lion's share of the possession but failed to convert this into anything on the scorecard.

Midfielder David George produced a sharp right-footer from on the top of the area which forced Jabloteh custodian Alejandro Figueroa into a low diving save to his left. But while George and Pacheco showed signs of battle-readiness, their wingers Kwesi Smith and Kurt Williams were clearly not up to the task in the first period.

After the interval, Jabloteh coach Ron La Forest sent playmaker Otis Seaton into the fray while Defence Force opted to use Russell Pope as their choice from the bench. It would be referee Noel Bynoe and assistant Michael Ragoonath though who eventually brought the game to life—albeit without intending to do so.

A low effort from Scotland in the 68th minute was gathered by Figueroa on the second attempt at his near post and Ragoonath promptly signalled for a corner-kick. The Jabloteh defence protested loudly and team captain Marvin Faustin's gesticulations in the face of the official were rewarded with a deserved caution by Bynoe.

But Bynoe's work had just begun.

Eight minutes later, Pacheco went over in the area after a slight tug from Jabloteh midfielder Dale Saunders to howls of protest from the Army following.

As the shouts broke the silence at the Oval, 22 professional footballers seemed to suddenly realise that there was a paying audience present who deserved better from them.

Slowly but surely, the game came to life. Unfortunately for the match officials, they always seemed to end up in the middle of things.

A loose Faustin elbow caught Pacheco in the 78th minute and army fans screamed for the ex-national stand out to be sent off.

Two minutes later, it was the turn of the Jabloteh fans to cry for justice after David George clattered into Seaton and was booked.

Then came Bynoe's toughest decision yet as Defence Force substitute Pope went down in the penalty area over Saunders outstretched leg. Seconds before Pope had put Faustin on his backside with some twists of his body but, by the time Saunders tackled, the striker was barely on his feet himself and only too willing to fall over.

Tell that to the Army supporters in the Errol Dos Santos stand who banged their chairs on the ground in disgust.

At the conclusion of the match, Faustin continued to ask questions of the officials although most of the close decisions had gone Jabloteh's way.

Monday November 7th, 2000

AIA throws away semis spot

A MISSED penalty in the second half by skipper Rodney Stokes yesterday deprived Caledonia AIA of a place in the semi-finals of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation's FA Trophy series.

After holding defending champions, Vibe CT 105 W Connection, to a 1-1 draw through 90 minutes, AIA lost 5-4 in a "sudden death" penalty shootout at Gilbert Park, California. AIA had taken a 33rd minute lead through Ronald O'Brian. However, Stokes muffed the opportunity to put his side 2-0 up in the second-half when he lost his footing and put his spot kick wide.

WCFC then pulled the game back in the 78th minute through St Lucian Earl Jean. However, bad light forced the referee to start the shoot-out immediately. After five kicks, the scores were deadlocked 4-4, forcing it into a sudden death. Then, it took a successful kick by Francis Lastic for Connection to move on after AIA's Serginho Sandy missed his.

Elijah Joseph, Jose Luis Seabra, Ronaldo Viana and Jean, all scored their penalties for Connection, while Wesley Webb missed. Gerald Brice, George Isaac, Kamal de Gregory and Conrad Smith scored for Caledonia. Ronald Primus failed to convert.

Connection now awaits the winner of the Defence Force/Fire Service clash tomorrow at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence. In another game CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh mauled Police 6-1 at the Queen's Park Oval.

Jabloteh await the winner of the Doc's Khelwalaas/Joe Public clash, also tomorrow at the CoE. St Kitts striker, Keith Gumbs, scored a double while David Villaquiran, Dale Saunders, Rolston James, and Keith Pierre, from the penalty spot, scored one apiece.

Friday November 3rd, 2000
Public advances to Club finals


DEFENDING champion Joe Public need not kick a ball today in their final game of the CONCACAF Club Championships.

But it will probably do so to appease its fans.

The Eastern Lions secured the Group I berth on Friday evening after amassing an unassailable six points following a 5-0 rout of Suriname's Robin Hood.

All the other teams in the race, Sithoc of the Netherlands Antilles ­ whom they meet today at the CONCACAF Centre of Excellence, Macoya, from 6.15 pm ­ Guinness Harlem Bombers (Dominica) and Robin Hood, have managed only two points.

Robin Hood and Bombers meet in the other game in the group today from 4.15 pm.

The Public had whipped Guinness Harlem Bombers of Dominica 2-0 before its rout of Robin Hood on Friday.
However, it was only after Sithoc drew 2-2 with Bombers in the second game of the double header Friday night that the Public's path to the final was cleared.


Robin Hood in the Lions’ Den

Sports Desk

JOE PUBLIC, defending Caribbean Club champions, were not required to roll up their sleeves and battle on Wednesday evening in their 2-0 win over Dominica’s Guinness Harlem Bombers.

But when action continues in the Concacaf Club Championship from 5 p.m. today at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence, the Eastern Lions are unlikely to be as lucky against Suriname outfit Robin Hood.

In the opening game of Wednesday’s CoE double header, the Joe Public custodian might as well have left an “out to lunch” sign between the uprights. The Harlem Bombers never seemed even remotely interested in justifying their intimidating name and failed to test the four-man Joe Public defence.

If Robin Hood’s encounter against FC Sithoc (Netherlands Antilles) was any guide, though, the hosts will meet a team that prides itself on ball possession as much as they do.

The final scoreline of Wednesday evening’s closing game read 2-2 but Robin Hood’s structure and fluidity in possession suggest that they may be Joe Public’s biggest threat.

For most of the second half, they pressed Sithoc back through their disciplined approach play before undoing their efforts with indecisive finishing.

Striker Allyson Bahiade Sa managed one goal on that day but with better judgment—and a bit more luck perhaps—he might easily have had three .

Coach Ronald Kolf will hope that Bahia de Sa is on song today while he would also be justified in expecting right back Ferdinand Japajoe and midfielder Patrick Alberg to build on their bright starts.

They will not find the going considerably tougher against the Lions.

There can be little doubt about which section of the field is most important to former stand-out national defender and Joe Public coach Clayton Morris.

In their first match of the tournament, Morris fielded a physically imposing defensive back four with defenders Keyeno Thomas and Ansil Elcock masquerading as midfielders in front of them. Two of his three substitutes used were former national wingback Sherwin Julien and stopper Brent Sancho—bringing the tally of defenders played to eight.

Presumably, tight defence will again be the basis of the Joe Public play, complemented by the neat organisational play of midfield maestro Kerwyn “Hardest” Jemmott and the striking efforts of mobile
attacking pair Adrian Narine and Angus Eve.

Defence is likely to be in evidence during this evening’s second encounter as well between Sithoc and Harlem Bombers from 7.15 p.m.

Unambitious in the opening game against Joe Public, the Bombers would need their star striker Kenrick Emmanuel to pay more attention to the opposing goalkeeper and less to the match officials.

A close watch is also recommended on Sithoc attackers Kenneth Margarittha and Darryl Dorothaal who defy their portly physiques to move swiftly into goalscoring position.

Sithoc are likely to again favour a cat-and-mouse game relying on the counter-attack as their main offensive tool.

Success for them would set up an interesting final day of competition on Sunday when they face Joe Public from 6.15 p.m.

A win for the Lions today would leave them just one point shy of a spot in the final group stage of the Concacaf Club Championship Caribbean Zone.

Joe Public cruisepast Bombers


 THE final scoreline which read 2-0 in Joe Public’s favour failed to give justice to a rather one-sided Concacaf Club Championship affair at the Centre of Excellence yesterday over Dominican outfit Guinness Harlem Bombers.

 Forsaking his customary spot in the VIP box, Fifa vice-president and club owner Jack Warner observed the first half of the match from a more modest location in front of the ground’s covered stands.

 Likewise, the Eastern Lions opted to play well within themselves and rarely saw the need to lift the tempo of the match above walking pace.

 The match was practically decided after just 30 minutes.

 In his typical languid style, Joe Public midfielder Kerwyn “Hardest” Jemmott controlled the ball 22 yards from the opposing goal with barely a hint of interest in the ongoing proceedings. 

A sudden swing of the left boot, a dull thud of the ball and the sphere had nestled itself past opposing goalkeeper Presley Boyd in goal for the Bombers.

Had Boyd not had to pick the ball from the back of the net himself, he may not have believed that Jemmott had beaten him with such a smooth nonchalant drive.

 Thereafter, the Bombers were never a threat to anyone save referee Ramesh Ramdhan who booked three Dominicans for a combination of late tackles and unrequested pointers on his officiating.

 The only serious blot on the host’s performance came in the 63rd minute when Joe Public captain and national team player was booked for punching a left side cross past Boyd.

 His strike partner Adrian Narine got the message and promptly beat the goalkeeper with a left footed screamer, two minutes later, for a deserved insurance item.

FC Sithoc (Netherland Antilles) and Robinhood (Suriname) who squared off in the second match of yesterday’s double header would have to do much better in their turn at the hosts in the round robin competition.

 If not, Joe Public may as well begin preparations for the final group stage in the Caribbean Zone of the Concacaf Club tournament.

Joe Public wins 'CONCACAF' opener

JOE PUBLIC made a successful start to its defence of the Concacaf Club Football Championship (Caribbean Zone) yesterday.

In its opening Group One match at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence, Macoya, the Eastern Lions shut out Dominica's Guinness Harlem Bombers 2-0. Kerwyn "Hardest" Jemmott scored Public's first goal in the 30th minute while Adrian Narine added the other in the 65th.

Joe Public will play its second match in the three-team group tomorrow at the same venue from 5 pm.
The other Trinidadian club in the series, Vibe CT 105 W Connection, starts competition today in Group III.