Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2014 Contents Defence Force's Jerwyn Balthazar. Left, and San Juan Jabloteh's Bradley Welch
in an aerial tussle for the ball in their Digicel T&T Pro League fixture at the Ato
Boldon Stadium, Couva on Friday night. Defence Force won 3-0.
PHOTO: ANTHONY HARRIS
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Reigning champion Defence Force will be seeking
positive movement and a second win in as many
matches, when the Army tackles North East Stars
in today s lone T&T Pro League fixture, at the Mar-
vin Lee Stadium, Macoya, from 6 pm.
A win today would see Defence Force remain sev-
enth in the nine-team standings, but will reduce the
number of matches in hand to five. It will need to
capitalise on its outstanding matches to give league
leader W Connection a challenge for the title. How-
ever, the two teams have already met this season
with North East Stars leaving with a convincing 3-
1 win. Both teams are coming off victories. Most
recently, Defence Force made up for its loss to Central
FC after the lengthy absence with a 3-0 win over
San Juan Jabloteh, on Friday. North East Stars, also
claimed victory in its last match with a narrow 1-
0 win over rock-bottom St Ann s Rangers.
Today s lone fixture will mark the end of Pro League
competition until after the Carnival celebrations.
Upon the resumption of competition, Police FC will
challenge Point Fortin Civic FC, while Central FC
takes on Defence Force. A day later, St Ann s Rangers
will meet W Connection, before Caledonia AIA and
North East Stars battle in the final fixture of Round
Three Matchday One.
Guaya United s head coach Ron LaForest deemed
his team s title win in its inaugural blink/bmobile
National Super League season, a massive stepping
stone for the prospect of wide scale community-
based semi-pro and professional football.
Only one season after claiming the Eastern Counties
Football Union s league title for the first time, Guaya,
dubbed the Green Army, created history as the first
team to capture the second-tier title in its first
attempt. Guaya captured the title after defeating
Siparia Spurs 2-1 at the Palo Seco Velodrome, on
The fans, most of whom reside in the communities
of Guayaguayare and Mayaro have been the backbone
of the team even before its triumphs at the zonal
level. "Guaya has the most supporters in T&T football
right now," claimed La Forest, who said they con-
sistently made the trip to all corners of the country
during all competitions.
The public already has support for the idea of
community based teams, according to LaForest. "I
must say we appreciate the public and their support
for community football. It (community teams) have
been missing from top leagues," he added.
"It (Guaya s win) speaks volumes. It s something
that has been missing in the region. In days gone by,
there were massive players who passed through.
Guaya had something really good. But something
was missing. Guaya was lacking an opening. This is
the perfect opening." He credited both Malabar FC
and Club Sando, which challenged Guaya throughout
the campaign as smaller clubs moving in the right
Guaya s win graced the community, which respond-
ed with motorcades from Palo Seco to the South-
eastern coast. "They (the players) worked hard. They
are a bunch of unknown footballers who wanted to
be out there. And, this was for them," said LaFor-
est.The former national assistant coach and standout
striker, La Forest is not putting his head on a block
for the idea of Guaya s participation in top flight
football, but said there is mutual respect and interest
between the club and the TT Pro League. "Manage-
ment has to decide on Guaya s next step."
The team will be the recipient of $200,000 allocated
to the title winner. Club Sando will take $100,000,
in addition to the $75,000 prize for winning the NSL
knockout title last season. LaForest said most, if not
all of the prize money will go back into the team s
development and football in surrounding commu-
Army, Stars in lone
Pro League clash today
North East Stars v Defence Force, Marvin Lee
Stadium, Macoya, 6 pm
La Forest: Guaya sets pace for
growth of community football
Ron La Forest
...Guaya's head coach.
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