Josimar Belgrave jumps into the arms of Defence Force head coach Ross Russell as Akile Edwards joins the celebration.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago – Trinidad & Tobago’s Defence Force is positive about claiming a place in the semifinals of the 2014 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship, when it travels to Jamaica for three Group B games, March 21 – 25.
The T&T Pro League 2012/2013 champion, consisting of members of the islands protective forces, has been going through a rigid regime of training for the past six weeks after an idle period due to national work commitments.
Club Secretary Basil Thompson told CONCACAF.com that his side is confident of advancement and is focused on achieving that objective.
“We have a very rich history in this competition and we are quite convinced that we would be the winners at the end of this stage,” expressed Thompson. “Training has been intense over the past six weeks and up to expectations in terms of where we would like to be. Our aim is to win this stage and to ultimately qualify for the final and qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League.”
Defence Force’s credentials as a club of distinguished history in the confederation are unique. In 1985, it achieved the rarity of winning the treble by capturing domestic league, cup and CONCACAF titles in the same year.
Ross Russell has been at the club in a coaching capacity for the past 12 years, including the last seven as head coach. He expects the team to do well at Harbour View Stadium.
“I believe that we are adequately prepared for the challenges ahead,” said Russell. “I think we are sharp, fit and ready to take on the opposing teams in this group. We have won our last three Pro League games in Trinidad and are looking forward to the next three games in Jamaica.”
Team captain Corey Rivers, who has been at the helm for five years, was somewhat modest in his comments noting that all the competing teams have one goal in the back of their minds: win.
“Each team in this group wants to win,” said Rivers. “It will be tough competition, but I am confident and have no doubt that we will go past this first hurdle. We have a very good crop of players who I am backing to deliver for us.”
Other players to watch on the Defence Force roster include Trinidad & Tobago international Devon Jorsling (forward) and Jerwyn Balchazar (midfielder).
In their CFU opener, the Trinidadians will take on Guyana’s Alpha United on Friday, before concluding play against SV Notch of Curacao (March 23) and Harbour View (March 25).