In the second and final part of our two-part series, Wired868 looks at the Pro League players whose performances in the first half of the 2012/13 season have put them above their peers:
Cleon John (North East Stars/ Goalkeeper/ 31 years old):
John has possibly been the Pro League’s most consistent player for the first half of the season and is a big part of the reason that North East Stars has conceded the joint fewest goals in the League along with defending champions, DIRECTV W Connection. His calm demeanour and impressive reflexes make him one of the country’s outstanding goalkeepers.
Kareem Joseph (Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA/ Right Back/ 29 years old):
If Joseph occasionally said “beep beep”, he would be a terrific replica of the “Road Runner.” An unsung hero of the Pro League, the penalty kick specialist has seven goals in all competitions this season, which is almost double the tally of any other defender. But his real worth is in his deliveries while on the overlap.
Seon Power (North East Stars/ Defender/ 28 years old):
Athletic, committed and versatile, Power offers a gruelling 90-minute interrogation to Pro League strikers on a weekly basis. He is on trial in Singapore at present and there is no question that he has earned the right to benefit from a better pay package overseas.
Jamal Jack (St Ann’s Rangers/ Defender/ 25 years old):
Rangers has the second most porous defence in the Pro League but no striker would dare tell Jack so to his face. Fast, mean, left-footed and did I mention he’s mean? Whatever Trinidad and Tobago football lacks at the moment, it certainly is not central defenders. Remarkably, Jack has just one national senior cap and even that was as a substitute.
Aklie Edwards (Defence Force/ Left Back/ 27 years old):
Edwards earned 21 of his 23 international caps in the Maturana era when the back four was so weak that it included a Pro League striker, Anthony Wolfe, at right back and when his cover on the left flank was the defensively non-committal Keon Daniel. Defence Force has seen Edwards at his best this season with his pacey runs and decent delivery on the overlap.
Devon Modeste (St Ann’s Rangers/ Utility Player/ 28 years old):
Who would be surprised if one day Modeste put on the goalkeeping gloves at Rangers? He started the season at right back, moved to midfield and is now doing so well upfront that only the Army duo of Devorn Jorsling and Kevon Carter have scored more League goals this season. He is a tidy, unflashy player who makes sound decisions on the ball and is good at finding spaces in the opposing penalty box.
Densill Theobald (Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA/ Midfielder/ 30 years old):
Probably Trinidad and Tobago’s most underrated player, Theobald’s decision making and passing range are a terrific resource for Caledonia and an instruction manual for young midfielders. He was at the centre of Caledonia’s storming start to this season.
Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force/ Utility Player/ 24 years old):
Gonzales played in two World Youth Cups in central defence but has played at right back and central midfield for Army, which suits Trinidad and Tobago fine considering our abundance of stoppers. His alert and combative presence in midfield and quick, astute release of the ball is reminiscent of Caledonia AIA captain Stephan David.
Kevon Carter (Defence Force/ Winger/ 29 years old):
We always knew he was fast. But Carter developed into something else this season. Employed on the left flank since December, Carter has started flying inside opposing right backs to bag goals by the handful.
Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force/ Striker/ 29 years old):
Jorsling does not sprint; he scores. Is that alright with you? The Pro League’s answer to Alan Shearer, Jorsling’s hold-up play, powerful shooting and set pieces were often in evidence this season. And a League-best 11 goals at the halfway mark suggests that he can get by without dashes down the channels.
Cornell Glen (North East Stars/ Striker/ 32 years old):
Glen’s unflattering injury record is the main reason why he is in the Pro League and not somewhere that his talents might be more handsomely rewarded. In full flight, he is the League’s best attacker, who is capable of taking on a defence single-handedly. But his niggling injuries mean that he rarely plays more than 70 minutes per game.
Cory Rivers (Defence Force/ Right Back/ 30 years old):
An excellent one-on-one defender with a no-nonsense approach to his duties.
Marvin Oliver (Central FC/ Playmaker/ 37 years old):
One of the Pro League’s all-time best players, Oliver can’t charge into the penalty area like he used to be his close control and passing ability is still a treat.
Trent Noel (Police/ Midfielder/ 37 years old):
Another Pro League veteran who remains a force to be reckoned with, Noel’s passing and set pieces are as dangerous as ever.
Ataullah Guerra (Caledonia AIA/ Midfielder/ 25 years old):
Guerra has enjoyed his most consistent spell as a professional in the last four months and has glided through opposing defences. He seems earmarked for greater things for club and country.