Two weeks after pulling a crowd of over 2,000 football fans when Morvant Caledonia United went down 4-2 to San Juan Jabloteh, Shabazz is still very upbeat.
“The results on the field would come, it will take time for the community to be integrated into the team and when the club and community gel they will become the 12th man.
“After that we will see what home advantage really means and the real concept of a club driven by the cimmunity, added Shabazz. “In football terms who ain’t dead badly wounded ....so let everyone talk they talk, waxed Shabazz lyrically sounding like a 3 canal rapso entertainer.
Sunday’s game which kicks off at 3.45pm at the Morvant Recreation Ground can be considered almost a Morvant Affair since half of the Defence Force team are players who went to school or resides in Morvant Laventille. Defence Force coach Marvin Gordon and ace striker Devon Jorsling both attended Malick Senior Comprehensive and grew up in Morvant.
“The community is very familiar with the “Army” players and they are very familiar with this territory, stated Shabazz.
“From a social standpoint it helps when people can see personnel from the Defence Force and Police Services not just here doing foot patrols but as rivals on the football field or among the crowd. This interaction lends for better relations.
“Over the years tension has built up with the security services and youths in the community, events like these helps to ease that tension, added Shabazz. Shabazz said that he has always been critical of the political leadership because of the “neglect places like Morvant and Laventille has undergone over the years”.
However the efforts to upgrade the field so that professional football can come to Morvant in his opinion is a plus. The man who has the distinction of coaching the national teams of Guyana and T&T feels that community fields are the future of professional football in the country.
“Credit to the club owners and the administration of the T&T Pro League it is so difficult to finance a pro team but with facilities within the communities clubs in both the Pro and Super League can achieve self sufficiency.
“We have started training in Morvant again and spectators are there witnessing our sessions. Everyone on my street in Morvant wants a team jersey so with the fans the potential for merchandizing is huge.