A lot more reasons for Lions to celebrate

Joe PublicBmobile Joe Public have completed their fifth title this season when they defeated Caledonia AIA of Morvant/Laventille 5-3 on penalties last Friday in the Final of the 2009 Digicel Pro Bowl, and now have all the reasons to celebrate.

With the 2009 Digicel League championship, Big Six, Toyota Classic, FA Trophy and Digicel Pro Bowl all in consecutive manner, Joe Public will definitely to the list for a number of honours for their achievements this year.

Joe Public also won the Reserve League championship this season.

Joe Public is in no doubt favourites for the Team of the Year after taking the biggest chunk of this season’s titles with W Connection winning the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield and Defence Force the First Citizens Cup.

Rookie coach Derek King in his first full season could eye the Coach of the Year after leading the Lions to five titles, attacker Kerry Baptiste with 34 goals in the League is definitely the Golden Boot winner. And Colombian goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa who has been outstanding in goal will be in the line-up for the Goalkeeper of the Year.

Baptiste who led the Lions with the armband was also named Player of Round One and Two in the League championship and with his overall 48 goals this season could well put him ahead of the rest for the 2009 Player of the Year.

“Hardwork from the beginning, with our preseason till the end,” King said over his team’s performances this season. “We worked individually and collectively as a team and it paid off. I really want to congratulate the guys for their efforts, because without them, there is no team. It’s really wonderful feeling at the moment,” continued the 29 yearold Joe Public coach following Friday’s Pro Bowl 5-3 penalties victory against Caledonia at the Hasely Crawford Stadium following a 1-1 draw.

It was Joe Public’s fourth match in nine days and King explained, “It was really tense. The most I could have done at this stage was motivate the guys. I told them, this is our final game (of the season) and we’re playing for another title with $100,000.00 up for grabs. We went out and did it and now we are celebrating.”

King added, “Caledonia and Joe Public is always a rivalry. And I thought they did well. Sometimes they had us on the back foot, but at the end of the day we didn’t give away. Credit to Jamal (Shabazz) and his squad for a very good game.”

Joe Public will now celebrate the Christmas holidays following the vigorous season before regrouping on January 15 when the management will make announcements for the 2010 season—which will be an even tougher challenge to defend five titles plus challenge the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship with hopes of entering the CONCACAF Champions’ League.