CUNUPIA FC, the 2018 TT Super League Cup champions, are expected to compete in the 2019 Pro League season.
Cunupia FC have made no secret of their intention to play in the top flight and have taken the required steps to do so.
Contacted recently, Pro League CEO Julia Baptiste said the league was expected to have an executive meeting whereby Cunupia’s application to join the top-flight local competition would be deliberated upon. That meeting was held and Newsday understands Cunupia FC have been given the green light to play in the next season.
Cunupia’s coach Michael De Four refused to confirm or deny whether his club was accepted by the Pro League executive, saying he preferred to wait for an announcement by the league’s board of directors.
“I have no comment to make about playing in the Pro League as yet,” said De Four yesterday.
Newsday understands though that Cunupia have been accepted and will play in the 2019 season once they meet the league's financial registration requirements – $130,000 plus an extra $100,000 on bond.
Last week, UEFA officials were in TT to discuss a revamping of the local league and prosed a system whereby no registration fee would be paid by clubs. It has not yet been revealed whether the Pro League will adopt the measures recommended for next season. Newsday tried to contact Baptiste yesterday but she did not answer a call to her cellphone.
De Four, while hesitant to discuss Cunupia FC's Pro League status, said he will be adding a few Brazilian players to his team for the new season. De Four said he will be tapping into links he established two years ago when he visited Brazilian club Cruzeiro FC.
“I’m looking at bringing in some Brazilians and a few local players in the squad to make the team play faster,” said De Four.
During the 2018 Super League season, Cunupia captured the League Cup after defeating Queen’s Park 2-1 in the final. And, in the league phase, they finished in fourth spot with 45 points, trailing champs FC Santa Rosa, Queen’s Park and Prison Service. De Four's Cunupia FC went unbeaten against FC Santa Rosa throughout the season.
De Four said the club was proud to represent the Central Zone and feels they've made quite a name for themselves since joining the Super League, with two titles in less than three years – the Championship title and Premiership League Cup.
In a Newsday article on December 22, De Four was quoted as saying, “We would like to get in the Pro League as soon as (this) year. We have shown consistency, discipline, good management ability as a club.
“We want a challenge to be able to compete at the highest level in this country and showcase our talent so the national coach will have an easier viewing of us. It’s that kind of aspiration that we have as a club. That can only be done by performing at the highest level.”