Connection and Central set to kick off TTPFL, no break for international match window

The TT Premier Football League now has a kick off date. The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) today revealed draft fixtures for the new domestic top-flight competition, with the first outing scheduled for Friday 10 March.

W Connection FC and Central FC, the two most successful teams in the history of the Pro League, should start the ball rolling for the TTPFL as they are due to clash from 5pm at the Mahaica Sporting Complex.

Then Central FC utility player Noel Williams (second from left) tries to keep the ball from three W Connection opponents during the 2019/20 Pro League season.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

It is the opening game of a double header, with Point Fortin Civic and Tiger Tanks Club Sando FC squaring off next at the same venue from 7.30pm.

There should be two more double headers over the course of that weekend, as AC Port of Spain and Defence Force go head to head from 5pm at the La Horquetta Recreation Ground, followed by Terminix La Horquetta Rangers and Police FC from 7.30pm in Phase 2 La Horquetta on Saturday 11 March.

And, on Sunday 12 March, Caledonia AIA and Cunupia FC have a 4pm date at the Arima Velodrome to be followed by Prison Service FC and San Juan Jabloteh at 6.30pm.

The proposed TTPFL schedule will allow Trinidad and Tobago’s home-based players to get two games under their belt before they join National Senior Team head coach Angus Eve for crucial Concacaf Nations League matches away to The Bahamas and at home to Nicaragua on 24 and 27 March respectively.

Notably, although there will be no TTPFL games at the same time that Soca Warriors are playing, the League will not break for the international match window.

Terminix La Horquetta Rangers attacker Kadeem Corbin (right) tries to find a way past Defence Force defender Isaiah McIntyre during Ascensional Invitational All-Star action at Phase Two, La Horquetta on 13 October 2019.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

As it stands, clubs will be expected to field teams despite the possible absence of their best players for duty with the National Senior Team.

In the past, clubs were allowed to request a postponement if three or more of their players were missing on international duty. TTPFL CEO Colin Wharfe said its executive committee would consider “compelling requests” and would “utilise the advice of a tribunal” if necessary.

“Each request for postponement will be evaluated on its merits,” Wharfe told Wired868. “But with a squad quota of 35 players, any request would have to be pretty compelling in order for it to be entertained.”

The current TTPFL executive committee comprises Wharfe, TTFA acting general secretary Amiel Mohammed, SporTT official Kairon Serrette, and attorney Richard Mason.

TTPFL CEO Colin Wharfe.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

The inaugural TTPFL competition is scheduled to end on Saturday 12 June—by which time all 12 teams should have faced each other twice.

There is no news yet on the prize structure for the TTPFL, which does not have a system for promotion or relegation.

Wharfe said the top teams will receive medals. However the matter of sourcing prize money remains a “work in progress”.

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