Digicel Pro League Championship 2010-2011 runner-up Caledonia AIA will challenge itself in the new season according to head coach Jamaal Shabazz.
Shabazz remains with mixed feelings over last season’s performance.
He applauded his team’s second position finish behind Defence Force however believes that the Morvant/Laventille club underperformed.
“I think it was a workman like performance from us last year, finishing second after spending most of the season in mid-table. But I think we underperformed and we would look forward to doing better this season although we finished second.
Caledonia(36 points) also joined Defence Force(41 points) in the 2011 Caribbean Football Union Club Championship. It was the first time Caledonia qualified for the tournament and its something Shabazz wants to continue this season.
“The CFU was a good experience for us and we are hoping to build on that experience,” he said. “We have tasted it(CFU Club Championship) and it’s a really good taste. We want to be there again next season.”
Shabazz, who believes that the domestic TT Pro League season will be much more competitive in 2011-2012, added, “I think it’s going to be yet another tough season. I think I was very impressed with the last season where no club really dominated in terms of silverware and that was a good sign. I think its going to be even more competitive this year and we are certainly going to try and be among the top three teams and try to hold our own in terms of silverware as well.”
This season Shabazz and assistant coach Jerry Moe will field a very familiar Caledonia team with very little new additions.
Densill Theobald, Akim Armstrong, Sheldon Emmanuel, Stephan David, Jamaican goalkeeper Kevin Graham, Abdullah Phillips and Keon Edwards makes up the nucleus of the squad. Last season’s on-loan players Daniel Cyrus and Jean-Luc Rochford are no longer attached to the Morvant/Laventille club. Defender Cyrus recently joined MLS club Sporting Kansas City on a two-year loan deal from FC Santa Rosa while midfielder Rochford is said to be still pursuing an overseas contract.
Teenaged players Shaquille Smith, Keron Bethelmy and Adisa Roberts are likely to be promoted to Caledonia’s senior ranks for the 2011-2012 season as the club aims to better last season’s performance.