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Defence Force humiliate M’vt/Caledonia 8-0, worst P/League loss in eight years

Morvant Caledonia United suffered one of the most lopsided defeats of Trinidad and Tobago’s professional era last night, as they were humiliated 8-0 by Defence Force at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

Photo: Morvant Caledonia United captain Kareem "Tiny" Joseph (right) tumbles after a challenge from Club Sando attacker Shaquille Holder during 2015/16 Pro league action on Tuesday night. Looking on is Morvant Caledonia coach Jerry Moe. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Morvant Caledonia United captain Kareem “Tiny” Joseph (right) tumbles after a challenge from Club Sando attacker Shaquille Holder during 2015/16 Pro league action on Tuesday night.
Looking on is Morvant Caledonia coach Jerry Moe.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The mauling followed Caledonia’s 3-1 loss to newly promoted Club Sando on Tuesday evening and saw the “Eastern Stallions” slip to the foot of the 10-team Pro League standings on goal difference.

By halftime, Caledonia, who without Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, already trailed by six goals with captain Jerwyn Balthazar leading the way with a hattrick. And second half items by Ross Russell Jr and Kellon Serrette sealed a memorable result for all the wrong reasons.

It has been eight years since the Pro League registered a more severe spanking. And the Army/Coast Guard combination administered that one too with a 10-0 win over Tobago United on 23 October 2008.

The Pro League’s record mauling was never in danger last night, though. W Connection hold that distinction with a 18-1 massacre of Tobago United on 22 August 2004.

Four years ago, World Cup 2006 midfielder Densill Theobald led Caledonia to its first and only Caribbean Cup title. He described last night’s results as the most painful he has endured as a professional player.

Photo: Morvant Caledonia United midfielder Densill Theobald (right) controls the ball while Central FC defender Marcelle Francois looks on during 2015 Toyota Classic quarterfinal action. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Morvant Caledonia United midfielder Densill Theobald (right) controls the ball while Central FC defender Marcelle Francois looks on during 2015 Toyota Classic quarterfinal action.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“I like to look at things from the brighter side,” Theobald told Wired868. “But the reality is we have a very tough task at ‘Cale’ at the moment. And until things change, the results can only get worse.”

Theobald explained that Caledonia decided to wave goodbye to many stalwarts during the pre-season and go with a fresh-faced squad. But then financial issues hit, as the change in government saw a temporary freeze in the subvention to Pro League clubs.

Caledonia, according to Theobald, were less prepared for the financial hardship than many of their rivals.

“Caledonia are heavily dependent on that government subvention,” said Theobald, “whereas some other clubs like Jabloteh and North East Stars and W Connection have other sources of income.

“Players here haven’t been paid in three months. And then you are asking them to have a professional mindset when we are not operating at a professional level administrative-wise.

“It is a big ask for our young players who don’t know about dealing with hardship like that. They just are not motivated. I am really sorry about this result.”

Photo: Morvant Caledonia United striker Kennedy Isles (right) drives a shot behind the back of W Connection defender Triston Hodge during 2015/16 Pro League action. (Courtesy Kerlon Orr/Wired868)
Photo: Morvant Caledonia United striker Kennedy Isles (right) drives a shot behind the back of W Connection defender Triston Hodge during 2015/16 Pro League action.
(Courtesy Kerlon Orr/Wired868)

The financial issues saw St Kitts and Nevis international attacker Kennedy Isles return to his homeland while talented 20-year-old winger Akeem Roach has supposedly opted to rejoin the Defence Force.

The task will only get harder for Caledonia head coach Jerry Moe, as Theobald leaves for India on Monday. The veteran midfielder has already agreed terms with I-League professional outfit, Sporting Clube de Goa.

“I was supposed to go back up for a while but I delayed (my departure) to help out with Cale,” said Theobald, “because it is really hurting me to see where we reach to with the lack of respect that teams have for Cale now. It is a real disaster.

“Cale is my heart. I haven’t missed a training for any useless reason and I try to lead by example and show the younger ones that mental resilience.

“Because it takes mental resilience to reach the goals you have in life.”

Photo: Defence Force coach Marvin Gordon (third from left) and his substitutes' bench erupts after Jerwyn Balthazar's screaming strike against San Juan Jabloteh in the 2015 First Citizens Cup. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force coach Marvin Gordon (third from left) and his substitutes’ bench erupts after Jerwyn Balthazar’s screaming strike against San Juan Jabloteh in the 2015 First Citizens Cup.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

It might have been worse for Caledonia. Defence Force striker and the Pro League’s record goal scorer, Devorn Jorsling, did not play.

In yesterday’s other fixture, Ross Russell made his coaching debut for North East Stars as they drew 2-2 with Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh at the same venue.

Kennedy Hinkson opened the scoring for Jabloteh after just two minutes. But Stars rallied to take a 2-1 lead through Gorean Highley and Neil Mitchell, only for teenager Brent Sam to grab a late equaliser for the “San Juan Kings.”

Ironically, it was Stars who got Russell fired last month, as the club’s 1-0 win over Central FC prompted the latter club to drop the axe.

But Russell will now look to restore a reputation he built on the back of two Pro League titles with Defence Force.

Photo: North East Stars coach Ross Russell (right) touches down in Toronto for the July 2015 Pan American Games, during his stint as Trinidad and Tobago Women's National Senior Team head coach. (Copyright Allan V Crane/TTOC)
Photo: North East Stars coach Ross Russell (right) touches down in Toronto for the July 2015 Pan American Games, during his stint as Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team head coach.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/TTOC)

Defence Force, now under coach Marvin Gordon, had no complaints about their own health yesterday, as they annihilated a sorry Morvant Caledonia squad.

 

Pro League results

(Friday January 8)

Defence Force 8 (Jerwyn Balthazar 10, 14, 21 pen, Rodell Elcock 26, Sean Narcis 34, Kishun Seecharan 45, Ross Russell Jr 55, Kellon Serrette 89), Morvant Caledonia United 0 at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

San Juan Jabloteh 2 (Kennedy Hinkson 2, Brent Sam 88), North East Stars 2 (Gorean Highley 24, Neil Mitchell 64) at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Photo: Defence Force midfielder Jerwyn Balthazar (second from left) knocks an equalising goal past St Ann's Ranger goalkeeper Stefan Berkeley (far left) in 2015/16 Pro League action. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force midfielder Jerwyn Balthazar (second from left) knocks an equalising goal past St Ann’s Ranger goalkeeper Stefan Berkeley (far left) in 2015/16 Pro League action.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Upcoming fixtures

(Saturday 9 January)

Police FC v Point Fortin Civic, 3.30 pm, Larry Gomes Stadium;

Club Sando v W Connection, 5 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;

Central FC v St Ann’s Rangers, 7 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;

Photo: Police FC captain Todd Ryan (second from right) drives forward with the ball while his teammate Kaaron Foster (second from left), Defence Force captain Jerwyn Balthazar (right) and referee Keon Yorke (far left) look on during 2015/16 Pro League action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Police FC captain Todd Ryan (second from right) drives forward with the ball while his teammate Kaaron Foster (second from left), Defence Force captain Jerwyn Balthazar (right) and referee Keon Yorke (far left) look on during 2015/16 Pro League action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Record Pro League defeats

W Connection 18, Tobago United 1 (22 August 2004);

North East Stars 13, Tobago United 1 (30 June 2004);

Starworld Strikers 13, Tobago United 1 (19 September 2004);

Defence Force 10, Tobago United 0 (23 October 2008);

South Starworld Strikers 9, Tobago United 0 (2 May 2004);

Clico San Juan Jabloteh 9, Defence Force 1 (21 May 2003);

Clico San Juan Jabloteh 9, Tobago United 0 (7 December 2003);

Defence Force 8, Morvant Caledonia Utd 0 (8 January 2016);

Defence Force 8, St Ann’s Rangers  0 (4 January 2013);

W Connection 8, Police 0 (4 September 2009);

Jabloteh 8, South West Drillers 0 (19 April 2004)

North East Stars 8, South West Drillers 0 (22 August 2004);

W Connection 8, North East Stars 0 (4 August 2002);

Defence Force 8, Point Fortin Civic Centre 0 (30 June 1999).

AboutLasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and 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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30 comments

  1. Hmmm. A lecturer of mine asked me the other day. “Is Trinidad& Tobago society conducive to professional sport ? Or are we forcing an issue.” What you think? Lasana Liburd Colin Benjamin Hazel Elizabeth Savitri Maharaj Prince Borde Roneil K Walcott

    • I think we will eventually get there, but we do have to force the issue first.

    • Fair enough. But how long again? I think we’re a long shot off. ProLeague clubs relying heavily on Government subvention to survive. I’m not sure to what extent Athletics and Cricket rely on subventions. They’re our other two major sports.

    • Eventually is when Nigel Myers ? 2240 ? Or 2020 ?

    • Trinidad cricket is a stakeholder in the West Indies set up which is not a new body by any means. Athletics is amateur so it doesn’t count here.
      I’m sure the Pro League clubs can do with help in raising funds though, which is a skill in itself.

    • I actually don’t think we are conducive to professional sport here.

    • But we are trying to create another industry.

    • Kirwin, it could very well take that long, because it requires a mind shift.

    • ..Full time professional in Trini is a pipe dream. Made worse by the lack of ambition evidenced by most TTPL clubs. They are content to stretch out their hands for government largesse while doing nothing to generate their own revenue. For example, this season my club, FC Santa Rosa sold one hundred season tickets. Next season we intend to sell two hundred. How many TTPL clubs can say that? A government subsidy is fine. It is extended to clubs in many countries and in many different ways. But a club/league that depends for its very life blood on state funding is a not a serious enterprise. Pipe dream..

    • At present it is not conducive but it can be done!! We must examine what has been done with other countries with other sports and put things in place! Check the history of the NFl, NBA and MLB

    • ..Yeah. With their market of 300 million!..

    • The Keith. Exactly the point. Are we taking things out of context and trying to model systems that simplae cannot work in our society ? I strongly believe so

    • Athletes and administrators in any professional league/sport here have to be realistic about how much money they can make and acknowledge that if wealth is their ultimate goal then Trinidad and Tobago will always just be a stepping stone and not the finish line.

    • ..Until the 1990s football in Denmark, Japan, Nigeria and Australia was “semi-professional”. Their leagues depended on working men playing part-time. I could give other examples. Our best years of domestic football were based on the part-time/job-for-work model. To wit, all the incarnations of all the oil teams, e.g. Trintoc. And of course, the service teams, Army and Police. Along with company teams, e.g. WASA, and private clubs, of course, e.g. Memphis. So what we trying to prove at taxpayers expense?..

    • But there are “in kind” ways that the government can pursue to help boost the income of professional athletes. State assistance doesn’t only have to come in the form of direct cash subventions.

    • Hmmm. We looking at football only here. But are as a society ready to have any sport as a profession ?

    • Cricket isn’t a professional sport? Cricketers have other jobs? Don’t know. Asking. Lara didn’t have another job, did he?

    • Keith, I don’t believe a semi professional Trinidad and Tobago team can win the CONCACAF tournament like 30 years ago.
      I’m pretty sure sport has advanced beyond that. I can’t see going back to semi-pro helping us at all in terms of performances on the field.

    • Well, that may be the case but, 1) where is the money to come from if the clubs cannot afford full time professional football – the ministry of sport is not the ministry of football, and 2) given our international results one could reasonably argue that we are not getting value for money. We got to Germany 06 on the backs of players who graduated to foreign professional leagues from “semi-professional” clubs..

    • Professional sport in the modern world is push by TV we have a large market in d disapora in the USA and UK through the internet etc that is a huge income stream if done properly

    • Actually Keith, I think the Pro League can at least get some credit for the 2006 squad.
      Players who came through Pro League on that squad: Kelvin Jack, Dennis Lawrence, Densill Theobald, Collin Samuel, Carlos Edwards, Jason Scotland and Cornell Glen.
      Players who were still in Pro League at the time: Cyd Gray, Aurtis Whitley, David Atiba Charles and Anthony Wolfe.
      I’m not counting Kenwyne Jones as he only played a handful of Pro League games, just like Brent Sancho.

    • The government and the pro league should agree upon a maximum number of teams in the pro league in any given year and a maximum number of players per team.
      The government should then build homes for all the players grouped by teams. With the homes comes no water or electricity bill. Within each team group of homes, build a room for a gym and a communal dining hall. Clubs would then have to approach Massy and the like for food sponsorship, hire a cook or two and include the provision of meals in players’ contracts or not, but that would be on the teams, not the government.
      In addition, get a bus to take players to and from practice which would have to be during off peak times so as to not mess with the bus schedule.
      You do all that and all of a sudden players are not paying a rent (and if they have a mortgage, they can rent out their property), they’re not paying for their three meals a day (unless clubs don’t raise food sponsorship and product donations are much easier to get than cash donations) and they are not paying transportation costs to get to work.
      That isn’t a big boost to people’s income? Why can’t something like that work?
      Plus you find a way to keep more of the players here, maybe more of them are on the national team, kids get excited to see them play, maybe more people come to a pro league match.

    • And pay me with what money? Guess I’d be working for free huh. After ranting and raving that the men’s team shouldn’t do exactly that! Oh the irony… LOL!!!

    • Wish me luck in a Caribbean League. Hopefully I am smart & creative enough to pull off a professional development league, owned by the shareholders!

    • Blessed Weekend Everyone and sorry 4 the late response. This is a very important topic, which should be further addressed by Sports Policy Administrators who can Implement A Vast Change In Our Society that would Improve Professional Sports Nationwide. I am really honoured to just be invited/tagged amongst these great minds. Do enjoy your lovely weekend and always be Cautious especially on the Black Carpet.???!!!

    • Ok. So your response to the question is yes Lasana ?