NEWLY CROWNED 2014-2015 Super League champions Club Sando have been accepted as the newest TT Pro League club and will compete at the 2015-2016 season, which is set to begin in September.
Meanwhile Club Sando’s youth teams at the Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 levels will have their taste at the 2015 Youth Pro League, which will run from March to July.
TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene unveiled Club Sando, represented by owner Edison “Eddie” Dean and technical director Muhammad Isa, during a press conference at the Pro League’s office in St Augustine yesterday.
Skeene said that the TT Pro League’s board of directors had reviewed the application of Club Sando, who have been campaigning in the Super League for a number of years and had been successful, and saw it fit to accept the San Fernando club into the TT Pro League fold.
Buoyed by an ambitious owner/CEO Dean, a board of directors that includes Isa, Steve Goopeesingh, Marlon Zoe and Derek Lange, and dedicated players and fans, Club Sando’s arrival at the Pro League is now a reality.
Isa, who said it is a very proud moment, explained that while Club Sando are very thankful for acceptance into the TT Pro League, it was something the club had worked very hard to achieve.
“Our organisation has worked very hard to achieve this,” Isa said. “Three years ago Dean called a meeting with two of the key stakeholders, which were Derek Lange and myself. Our club was approaching 25 years (of existence in 2015), and we decided that at 25 years we want to play at the highest level in the country, which is the TT Pro League.
“We started to work on it two years ago. We didn’t just want to pay our way into the TT Pro League. We wanted to come into the TT Pro League as Super League champions. The management and staff worked very hard to win the Super League and today we are very much honoured to be in the TT Pro League as the Super League champions.”
Club Sando enjoyed their best years at the Super League in the last two seasons since the arrival of former St Ann’s Rangers coach Anthony Streete. In 2013-2014 Club Sando finished runners-up in the both the league and knockout competitions behind Guaya United – another Super League outfit ambitious of entering the Pro League.
One season later Club Sando celebrates the 2014-2015 Super League title in the year of celebrating their 25th anniversary, and to top it off, the club are now preparing for the highest tier of football in Trinidad and Tobago—the TT Pro League.
Club Sando, who also fields a team in the Southern FA, will have the next eight months to prepare for life in professional football.
“We will continue to play the high brand of football that we played in the Super League and I will assure you that we will be competitive in the TT Pro League,” Isa assured. “Our coach (Anthony Streete) cares about the style of football that we play.
“He always emphasised that he wants people to follow the team, so he always emphasised a quality standard from the players. He wants to bring back the fans to football and that’s why we have a (huge fan support) right now because of the style of football that we produce.”
In 2013 Club Sando, who boast of a number of former Pro League players, etched themselves into history, becoming the first second tier team of the Trinidad and Tobago football system to reach the Toyota Classic Final but went under 2-0 against W Connection in the title match.
“We hope that Club Sando’s journey and their stay in professional football is long and fruitful,” Skeene said. “They have a dynamic organisation and now a vibrant brand, which is the TT Pro League. And I want to tell them that they are joining a group of like-minded individuals who have the growth of professional football at heart and who continue to work daily to ensure the sustainability and viability of professional football in Trinidad and Tobago.”