Armchair and bar room football fans will have the chance for some fresh air this weekend as Trinidad and Tobago’s Digicel Pro League competition officially gets going with two days of action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
All eyes have been peeled on Parliament this week but there is plenty reason to stop by at the Hasely Crawford too.
Defence Force kicks off the 2012/13 season from 6 pm against St Ann’s Rangers and is poised to launch the eagerly anticipated “Ro-Jo” combination of strikers Richard Roy and the returning Devorn Jorsling.
Both soldiers are built like tree trunks, strike the ball with venom and can be ruthless in front of goal. Rangers has been warned.
The St Ann’s team has managed some interesting buys too and would count on San Juan Jabloteh winger Jason Marcano to lead its counter-offensive. The United States-born duo of Ladule Losarah and defender Daniel Torre are new to the domestic game and joins a squad that includes ex-Wrexham striker Hector Sam and national under-23 forward Cameron Roget.
In the second fixture from 8 pm, Caribbean champions Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA face off against a resurgent North East Stars team.
Caledonia AIA has already started its season after three CONCACAF Champions League fixtures. The “Eastern Stallions” lost two and drew one. Word is the Morvant/Laventille team intends to take out its frustration on the Sangre Grande visitors.
World Cup 2006 midfielder Densill Theobald is back from a successful stint with Indian top flight club Dempo SC and is expected to be pulling the strings in midfield while big performances are expected this season from young guns like towering national youth striker Jamal Gay and Guyanese international winger Trayon Bobb.
North East has a new coach again but this time surely owner Darryl Mahabir has snagged the brightest young thing. Angus Eve has been understudy to Terry Fenwick at Jabloteh and Michael McComie at Ma Pau and should be anxious to show what he can do.
He has plenty experience in the ranks at Grande with 2006 World Cup striker Cornell Glen and former Joe Public hitman Kerry Baptiste joining a squad that already includes veteran versatile attacker Gary Glasgow.
On Saturday, Police and T&TEC are both going through periods of transition and would each see the other team as a fair chance at three points. The two clubs are opting to primarily use players and staff attached to its organization and, to be frank, are likely to be closer to the foot of the table than the pinnacle as a result.
Still, Police is buoyed the presence of former national midfielder and Jabloteh captain Trent Noel who is unlikely to feel inferior in any company at this level while another former Jabloteh player, defender Karlon Murray, should add bite to its backline.
T&TEC has a useful team too with lanky defender Anthony Noriega, steady midfielder Simeon Augustus and versatile attacker Sylvester Teesdale still around while they could pose a threat if talented youngsters like Keeron Benito, Javed Mohammed and Akini Adams kick on.
Defending champions DirecTV W Connection is excused from this weekend’s action due to a pressing CONCACAF Champions League engagement next week. So, newcomers Central FC must wait a little longer to get started.
Hopefully, football fans are just as anxious for the Pro League to get started.
Digicel Pro League
Defence Force v St Ann’s Rangers, 6 pm, Hasely Crawford
Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA v North East Stars, 8 pm, Hasely Crawford
Police v T&TEC, 5 pm, Hasely Crawford