Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 28th 2013 Contents A74
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 28, 2013
Two teams completely mismatched on paper, South
Zone underdog Princes Town and East Zone power-
house St Augustine Secondary, scheduled to clash in
tomorrow s Coca-Cola National InterCol semifinal
double-header opener at the national stadium, are
ready for combat.
Princes Town, a team with its fair share of rich history
in football, but overshadowed by the likes of Presentation
College of San Fernando and stunned Naparima College
in recent years, blew away the South Zone recently
when it took the zonal InterCol title after three con-
secutive upset victories.
The team finished sixth in the league, and as a result,
was pitted against the third-placed finisher Naparima
College in the InterCol South Zone quarterfinal. Against
the odds, and against a team it lost to twice during the
league campaign, Princes Town won the match 1-0.
Then against St Benedict s College in the semifinal,
Princes Town managed to execute the unlikely task of
shutting out the second best team in the zone s league
competition, to take a win on spot kicks.
Its next test, in the final, was against the reigning
South Zone InterCol champion, Shiva Boys Hindu Col-
lege. Lo and behold, Princes Town secured the 1-0 from
a first-half strike from centre-back Anderson Tous-
But the fairytale run has not ended just yet. "We re
going all the way. We re playing for this title. The league
position did not matter," said Princes Town head coach
and past student, Jeffrey Seecharan. "We re an InterCol
team. We love pressure and we play for the fans, the
Based on its current run and its past successes in the
InterCol competition, Seecharan feels momentum and
the support of the enthusiastic fans will take the team
all the way to the trophy, which was last lifted in 2001.
"We had the banners and stickers printed since July,"
said Seecharan without an ounce of facetiousness in
his tone. "They (the students) love big events."
It is the supporters, according to Seecharan, who
have helped the team maintain three consecutive clean
sheets. And, he said it is the same supporters who will
inspire Princes Town to glory once again.
In the line-up are Toussaint, who came up big with
decisive goals this season, along with his defensive com-
rade Kadeem Joshua, and forward Atiba Marshall, three
key components to the team.
Speaking on tomorrow s opponent, Seecharan said
he expects a quick game against a number of well-
known Green Machine midfielders and goal-scorers.
"We ll approach it as a final, as we have done against
Naps, Benedict s and Shiva. We saw them in the East
Zone final and they were impressive. We re confident
but cautious. We have the ability to beat them."
Asked what team he would prefer to meet in the
final, Fatima College or Speyside Secondary, Seecharan
opted for the latter merely because he felt he wanted
to meet a team from Tobago.
However, Princes Town s manager, Robert Warner,
who was interviewed earlier, also opted for Speyside
but for a different reason.
"We saw Fatima in the final. If we can avoid them,
that would be good," said Warner, who was impressed
with the North Zone s schools persistence against East
Mucurapo Secondary in the North Zone final.
Meanwhile, his opposite number, Michael Grayson,
St Augustine s head coach since 2004, who guided the
school to an impressive four Big-Five titles, believes
2013 is the year for him and his players to lift the national
It will be the last year that St Augustine s top scorer
Ricardo John, national Under-20 player Shannon Gomez
and consistent forward Jordan Devonish will have a
shot at schools football s top prize.
Unfortunately for them, they will have to work around
the absence of midfielder Triston Hodge, who started
every match this season, but is suspended for the semi-
final for an accumulation of yellow cards.
"It may be our year, but it will not be easy. Although
we scored in most matches, and many goals at that,
none (of the games) have been easy," said Grayson.
"We began the season with the objective of winning
all four titles, to mimic that of St Anthony s. We set
that target because we have the players to do so." St
Augustine was almost flawless in winning the East Zone
league title, winning all but one match, which it drew
to El Dorado West Secondary (0-0). A massive 11 points
separated itself and second-placed El Dorado West at
the end of the league campaign. Those two teams met
for the third time in the East Zone InterCol final, last
Thursday, with St Augustine taking a 2-0 win. Devonish
and John both scored second-half goals to win the
match, and both could have had more.
St Augustine s target is to win tomorrow, and it will
not matter what team it meets in the final, granted it s
successful, Grayson said.
Princes Town has won the national InterCol title
twice (2001 and 1994) between this year and the last
time St Augustine won it, in 1984.
Tomorrow s double-header semifinal at the Hasely
Crawford Stadium, kicks off at 3.30 pm, between Fatima
College (North) and Speyside Secondary (Tobago). St
Augustine and Princes Town will clash in the second
match from 5.30 pm.
Recently retired T&T international
midfielder Christopher Birchall is now
settling back into his groove as a sole
club player with Port Vale, a few days
after playing in his final match for
the Soca Warriors.
The 29-year-old midfielder, on his
return to London, said he will forever
hold onto his memories in a T&T shirt,
adding that the highlights of his career
all came with the national team.
Birchall spent over an hour in con-
versation with the President of T&T
Anthony Carmona at his office last
Monday as he paid a courtesy call in
light of his farewell encounter against
Minister of Sport Anil Roberts was
also present at the meeting while rep-
resenting the TTFA was general sec-
retary Sheldon Phillips.
"I was amazed at his (President Car-
mona s) knowledge for the game and
T&T football on a whole," Birchall said.
"He certainly knows his stuff and it
was real honour and a privilege to be
able to sit with him and talk about so
many things. It s great to have a Pres-
ident who cares about the game and
sees it as something important for the
country. He encouraged me to keep
ties with the country which I obviously
intend to do and already there have
been talks about me possibly coming
back to share my experience in some
way or the other, whether it be in
coaching or through other some form
which I d be delighted to be part of."
The former Coventry City man urged
Roberts to continue holding a special
interest in local football.
"I ve known the sport minister since
the 2006 campaign. I remember him
being an avid supporter of the team,
always very present at the games and
I think he knows what is required for
success. He seems to have a fair knowl-
edge of what the current team needs
in terms of support and I hope can
continue in this way to hopefully see
the country get to another World Cup.
With people like him around, hopefully
the association can get things done in
the right way and that the game can
continue to develop here in T&T," Bir-
Former T&T international midfielder Chris Birchall in conversation with
President of T&T Anthony Carmona ahead of his farewell match against
Jamaica, last Monday.
Birchall pledges to keep T&T ties
Princes Town, Gustine
coaches prepare for battle
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