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Understrength Connection plots Caledonia revenge

“I think that in both games, if you go over the tapes, you would realise we were in a better position to win,” DirecTV W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier told Wired868. “That doesn’t mean Caledonia played badly; they played well. But we haven’t been taking our chances.”

Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA edged DirecTV W Connection by penalty kicks, on 21 June 2012 to lift the Caribbean Club Championship trophy and then again in the First Citizens Cup, on 28 September, courtesy a last gasp Keyon Edwards strike.

If Fevrier has anything to do with it, Caledonia’s wonderful spell would end tomorrow, on Friday 19 November 2012, when two of the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League’s more artistic teams meet from 8 pm in Digicel Pro League action at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.

Photo: DirecTV W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier points the way for his troops.

Connection and Caledonia follow a 6 pm clash between rookies Central FC and Police FC at the same venue.

If Central and Police feel little pressure to set the stage alight, the same cannot be said of defending Pro League champions, Connection, and reigning Caribbean conquerors, Caledonia.

KFC Munch Pack

More than likely though, it will not be the usual suspects who shoulder their respective club’s best chance for three points.

Caledonia is likely to resist the chance to start World Cup 2006 midfielder Densill Theobald who was due to return from Caribbean Cup duty earlier today after Tropical Storm Rafael left several Trinidad and Tobago players stranded in St Kitts.

There are also question marks over the availability of Trayon Bobb, Walter Moore and Colin Nelson who are scheduled to be in action for Guyana on Sunday as will St Vincent and the Grenadines winger Cornelius Stewart. Caledonia winger Abdallah Phillip is still nursing a sore knee and should also might miss out.

Connection suffered as a result of Rafael too with Trinidad and Tobago captain and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, midfield leader Clyde Leon, defender Daneil Cyrus and utility player Joevin Jones as well as Kittian midfield anchor Gerard Williams likely to be on the bench, at best, tomorrow night.

So who has more strength in reserve?

Caledonia coach Jerry Moe is likely to draft talented 24-yearold playmaker Ataullah Guerra into the first team and, judging from earlier glimpses this season, he is rearing to go. The more experienced pair of Conrod Smith and Edwards, who can both operate in midfield or as support strikers, are in good form too and capable of compensating for Theobald’s absence.

Connection has never been afraid to promote youth and much might depend on 20-year-old attacker Shahdon Winchester and 18-year-old midfielder Jomal Williams if the “Savonetta Boys” are to wrest control of the game.

Photo: W Connection attacker Shahdon Winchester (right) evades a tackle from Defence Force midfielder Curtis Gonzales.
(Courtesy Photos868)

Remarkably, Winchester is already entering his fourth Pro League season. Once touted as Trinidad and Tobago’s next big thing, a succession of unsuccessful overseas trials and injuries have disrupted his flow and it is two years since his last senior international cap.

“I don’t believe Shahdon has delivered to his full potential yet,” said Fevrier. “He is still a work in progress. He has done well but a lot is expected of him and perhaps we need to be more patient.

“I do think he needs to dedicate himself to the game more. Most young players in this generation don’t realise that football is hard work and it is very important to give 100 percent at this stage of their career when you are building your foundation.”

For Guerra, Winchester and Williams, Friday night represents a wonderful opportunity to steal the limelight and provide a glimpse into the future for their respective team.

After two successive defeats to Caledonia, Connection is looking forward to adjusting the present as well.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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