Vranes – Sharks will chase every title

Central FC forward Dwight Quintero, centre, shows his strenght and skill during a league game against North East Stars during the 2013-2014 season. Looking on is teammate and midfielder Leston Paul. (USE AT THE TOP)
Wednesday 10 September 2014

“We will be after every title there is,” Central FC head coach Zoran Vranes cautioned, less than two weeks before the start of the 2014-2015 TT Pro League season.

“As to how many of those titles we will win… we will see,” added the 63-year-old Serbian, who must also lead the 'Sharks' into Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship this season.

Central FC and bitter rivals W Connection, the reigning Digicel Pro League champions, will kick off the season on September 20 in the Digicel Charity Shield, which the “Savonnetta Boys” are two-time holders.

Last season under then coach Englishman Terry Fenwick, Central captured the First Citizens Cup and Lucozade Sport Goal Shield titles, as well as finished runners-up in the Pro League championship.

But Central’s feats were second to Connection, who captured the League, Toyota Classic, FA Trophy, Digicel Pro Bowl and the Charity Shield.

The end of last season also saw the ‘Sharks’ part ways with Fenwick, and during the pre-season came the exit of influential forwards Willis Plaza and Rundell Winchester, and defenders Yohance Marshall, Jamal Jack and Elton John.

Plaza, Winchester and John have all joined Fenwick at Belgium third division outfit CS Vise, while Jack is on loan to Guyana’s Alpha United until December and Marshall is presently listed as unattached.

But with a mixture of youth and experience at his disposal, new Central FC coach, Vranes, is promising a strong team.
New Central FC head coach Zoran Vranes.
“We have lost a few good players: strikers and defenders,” Vranes said.

“But it’s a good opportunity for new guys, younger players, for chance to play.

“I am still trying to change the attitude in some of the players in the way they play and practice. But generally I am pleased… satisfied. We have been getting good results in pre-season. It’s good and I expect us to get better. We will have a very strong team that would play successful.”

New Central FC acquisitions include the St. Ann’s Rangers trio of goalkeeper Akel Clarke, 25, of Guyana, midfielder Michael Yaw Darko, 22, of Ghana, and midfielder Qian Grosvenor, 25; former T&TEC FC players Marcelle Francois, 29, and Nathaniel Garcia, 21; along with Nathaniel's younger brother and T&T U20 star, 16-year-old Levi Garcia.

Twenty-six year old midfielders Elijah Manners, who last served North East Stars, and Argentine Miguel Romeo, who had a stint with Caledonia, joins the Sharks, along with former T&T Youth U17 and U20 World Cup midfielder Jean-Luc Rochford, 23, and former Caledonia youth forward Shaquille Williams, 18.

Central have also promoted talented 21-year-olds Denzil Daniel and Seon Thomas from the club’s Reserve Team.

The squad also stands with regular ‘Sharks’ goalkeepers Jan-Michael Williams, T&T Senior Team custodian, and T&T U20 shot-stopper Javon Sample; defenders Dillon Nicholas, Keion Goodridge, Akeem Benjamin; midfielders Marvin Oliver, Jason Marcano, Sean de Silva, Darren Mitchell, Kaydion Gabriel, Samuel Delice, Kevon Goddard, Leston Paul, Ataullah Guerra; and forward Dwight Quintero.

“We have promoted some youths into the team with the new players,” added Vranes. “We also have Romeo who is a very good guy. He is fighting for his place and we would see how it goes. We have Jean-Luc and I believe he can play much better than we have seen of him. He has only showed about 70 percent of his potential. Sean, Paul, Grosvenor have all been working hard as well and should have the attention of the (T&T) national coach (Stephen Hart).”

Vranes’ staff includes present T&T U20 assistant coach Dale Saunders, a former Joe Public player and coach, as first assistant coach, while Marc Leslie is kept on as second assistant coach and former Rangers employee Sheldon Scipio entered as trainer.

“He (Saunders) is a former player of mine,” Vranes shared. “He is also a former assistant coach to me at the T&T Under 20s. He is a good guy and a talented coach. At Present he is helping the national (U20) team and we are ok with that. But I expect from him the right support in the future.”