Central begin preparations for MLS Champions League clash

Central FC's Darren Mitchell in 2015 Champions League action at LA Galaxy.

Two times Caribbean Club Champions, Central F.C. will begin preparations for their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League campaign this Saturday, when they will invite local footballers to try out for a contract with the current Pro League champions.

“While we wish to retain as many of our double championship winning squad as possible, there is always room for talented newcomers” said Managing Director, Brent Sancho. “We know that there are players with potential who, for one reason or another, have fallen through the cracks and not been recruited by Pro League clubs. In some instances, young players may have been focused on their studies, may have returned from scholarships, or may simply be late developers. Either way, this is a chance of a lifetime to walk straight into the Champions League!”

Central F.C. will compete in Group C, against two MLS clubs, Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver Whitecaps. Although the fixtures have not yet been revealed, it is believed that Central will begin their campaign at Hasely Crawford Stadium in early August.

“Our actual pre season training will begin next week with the focus on strength and conditioning” said Sancho. “It's always tricky for Pro League teams, as we are out of season, while the MLS clubs are in the middle of their competition.”

However, while actual competetive match fitness may be a problem for Central, Sancho believes there are also advantages.

“We only have to focus on Champions League games in August, so we will have no problems with tiredness and injuries. The MLS clubs, however, have to make a long midweek journey to Trinidad, sandwiched between two MLS games. So their focus is split. Central will also have the psychological advantage of being unbeaten by foreign teams at home. We've also never lost a CFU Caribbean Club Championship match at home or away, so they know that we won't be pushovers.”
Central F.C. are currently in discussions with several sponsors as well as a major French club and a top MLS outfit, who are looking to partner with the Caribbean champions.

“We've had an increase in interest over the last few weeks and we are looking forward to announcing our new club sponsors shortly.” said Sancho
The clubs try outs will take place on Saturday 25th June at Warren Street, St Augustine. Players should arrive at 2pm for registration and walk with a red or white jersey, black shorts and socks and carry shin guards. Between 16 and 20 players will be selected to undergo further trials and practice games over the next few weeks.

“We would be happy to identify two or three players whom we can offer contracts to” said Sancho. “Those selected will go straight into our first team programme and begin training for our Champions League fixtures. It's real “Roy of the Rovers” stuff where, in 6 weeks time, an unknown youngster could score the winning goal against an MLS team in front of a global audience!”

For more information visit the Central F.C. Fan Club facebook page.