According to a media release from the Pro League, the league’s board of directors, on Thursday afternoon, agreed to allow Ma Pau to complete the list of ten participating teams.
The other clubs are champs CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh, W Connection, Joe Public, Caledonia AIA, Tobago United, St Ann’s Rangers, Defence Force, United Petrotrin and North East Stars.
The agreement came after weeks of negotiations between Ma Pau’s management and the league’s executive, with the board of directors approving the club’s requirements in terms of its financial and administrative capabilities.
The Woodbrook-based club was formed last May and, in the 2007 North Football Association (NFA), they were the runners- up in the league phase but copped both the Superstar Cup and League Knockout events.
Former national striker and coach of the Under-17 and Under-21 teams Ron La Forest is the team’s coach while former M&M Harvard manager Louis Charles is holding the similar position with Ma Pau SC. La Forest made it clear that his team will be no pushover this season. “People might think that the big clubs have already grabbed up all the talent but it’s not so,” he said.
La Forest is currently conducting open sessions at the King George V Park, St Clair this week.
“We had a fantastic turnout of players showing keen interest of becoming part of Ma Pau football club,” he said. “It will be a tough season for us but although we are the ‘new kids on the block’ we will be competitive.”
Pro League Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dexter Skeene commented, “I expect that they would be able to give a creditable performance.
“And, with their managerial expertise, they would be able to effectively run a professional unit able to compete in the professional league and that’s why the Board of Directors saw it fit to add Ma Pau as one of the teams in the League for 2008,” he continued.
Regardless of their inexperience at the competitive level, Skeene said, “they have people around them with years of involvement in business and football.”
Charles noted, “we have the backing to be a top notch professional club. We have been given the resources and it’s now up to us, the members of the football club, to know how to use these resources to create what our bosses want, which is a top professional club.”
Police will be out of the 2008 season after Police Commissioner Trevor Paul issued a directive to ban lawmen from participating in sporting activities, outside of their work time, in a bid to beef up the police staff to combat the upsurge in crime. And WASA FC was unable to meet the league’s financial stipulations to enter the fray, having stated their intentions to move up from the Super League (they won the 2007 Super League crown).