Former national midfielder Dexter Skeene says the T&T Pro League is determined to make a positive difference in football throughout T&T, and the youth and young people of the nation.

Skeene, the Pro League’s Chief Executive Officer, made this statement while delivering his address at the opening of the 2015/2016 season of the Pro League at the VIP, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, yesterday.

Speaking to the crowd on hand which included former national standouts in Sedley Joseph and Everald “Gally” Cummings,  Skeene said, “I welcome you here this morning (yesterday) with a tremendous feeling of pride.”

He added: “Why? Because as the league stands proudly with its partner Digicel, a  partner who has stood by the league’s vision, players,coaches, board, management, fans and other corporate partners in fighting a noble cause, purpose and mission.

With regards to the Pro League Skeene said there remained those in key decision making positions who continue to misunderstand what the T&T Pro League is about in a place such as T&T.

“But the Pro League can stand proud confident that notwithstanding, at times hostile environment our owners clubs and players and coaches continue to improve on the quality of football that is on display at Digicel TT Pro League Games and Tournaments.

He boasted, “No matter what,  we are determined to make a positive difference in football and through the youth and young people of the nation..

“The Pro League is about building an industry, it’s about developing football as a profession, creating a pathway for youngsters to aspire to earn a living from playing football.

“It is about supplying the national senior team with players like Attaula Guerra, Willis Plaza, Jan-Michael Williams, Joevin Jones, Keron Cummings, who can effectively and efficiently compete at international level.

Reflecting on the start of the league, Skeene noted it all started in 2002 with some innovators, pioneers who had a vision to create an industry with professional football, to take T&T football to the next level.

He said the list included Jerry Hospedales, Jamaal Shabazz, David John-Williams, Darryl Mahabir, Richard Fakoory who had invested over $325 million, in bringing professional football to where it was today.

Comparing both  league, Skeene said when you place everything into context you understand what is required and the life cycle necessary for a successful professional football league.

Skeene said that despite many broken promises, the league would continue to soldier on and make representation for community grounds.

“It was always part of the business model submitted to the Ministry of Sport to the understanding that if this is provided after a few years clubs would have no excuse not to be self-sustaining and viable. Community fields is a critical success factor and I remain convinced when put in place it will be the catalyst to take professional football to the next level.”

“It is about giving our coaches like Ross Russell, Angus Eve, Stewart Charles, Earl Jean, Jamaal Shabaazz, Marvin Gordon, Richard Hood, Leroy De Leon, Anthony Streete, and Keith Jeffrey the opportunity to work full time as coaches just like the Jose Mourinhos and Arsene Wengers of the world.

“We must not limit ourselves; we are just as talented, ambitious and intelligent as anyone anywhere in the world. The TT Pro League is the platform, the stage, the place, the forum where we can achieve greatness, utilising and exposing our indigenous talent.