Central could close gap on Pro League leaders W Connection

Central FC forward Dwight Quintero (left) and North East Stars defender Glenton Wolfe during semi-final one of the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield on April 11. Quintero scored the opening item in Central’s 2-0 win.
Central FC will attempt to close-in on Digicel Pro League leaders and bitter rivals W Connection on Tuesday when the “Sharks” take on North East Stars from 8 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Round Three Match Day Seven.

Three points against Stars, who they defeated 2-0 last Friday in the semi-final round of the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield (LSGS), will see Central move four points within the “Savonnetta Boys”.

Connection, with 45 points at the top from 21 matches, are on the bye on Tuesday, while Central are second with 38 points from 20 matches.

“We’ve made quite a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the club,” said Central head coach Terry Fenwick, who believes that his side is the most feared at present.

This season Central also defeated the Stars 2-1 in the quarterfinal round of the First Citizens Cup en route to lifting the title, but in league ties, Fenwick’s side only managed 1-1 draws in both round one and two.

Now with an impressive 16-match undefeated stretch and 9-match winning streak, in all competitions, and a place next to W Connection in the Final of the LSGS on Friday 25 April, Fenwick’s side must produce full points against the Sangre Grande club to increase their chances of tripping the “Savonnetta Boys” for the league title and the million dollar cash prize in tow.

“(…) from the beginning of the season my team have always been revolving in terms of youngsters gaining knowledge and coached for specific positions,” continued Fenwick, a three-time Blue Waters Coach of the Month this season.

“I thought in the January window our additions were very good with (Ataullah Guerra, Willis Plaza, Yohance Marshall, Leston Paul, Sean de Silva and Samuel Delice).

“When I took over the team during last season I felt we had only one or two positions covered, whereas now we have six or seven. We understand that players need time and experience to get comfortable in positions but we can say that we have a very good squad, not just a team.

“Our players are very confident and intelligent. We have outstanding individuals. We even have outstanding senior players in Jan(-Michael Williams) and Marvin (Oliver) and they are almost like my assistants along with (assistant coach) Marc Leslie.”

Fenwick admitted though, that it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the “Sharks” on and off the field but “we have moved on and try not to make the same mistakes again”.

He guaranteed that rivalry football is what Central offers and said it will get the people wanting to come and see.

Connection, winners of this season’s Digicel Charity Shield, Toyota Classic and FA Trophy titles, must take on defending league champions Defence Force in back-to-back fixtures on May 4 (in a rescheduled fixture) and May 6 before wrapping up against Caledonia AIA on May 13.

While Central, following Tuesday’s game, must take on Police (April 22), San Juan Jabloteh (May 6) and St. Ann’s Rangers (May 13).

Defence Force in fourth with 35 points and with six games left to play remains the only other team with a mathematical chance at the title.

The 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 Pro League winners are coming off Sunday’s 3-1 win over Police FC and will meet the “Lawmen” again from 6 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Tuesday followed by Jabloteh against Point Fortin Civic from 8 pm at the Couva venue.

And prior to the North East Stars and Central clash from 8 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, cellar positioned St. Ann’s Rangers are against Caledonia AIA from 6 pm at the Port of Spain venue.

Digicel Pro League fixtures
Tuesday 15 April
Round Three Match Day Seven
Ato Boldon Stadium
Police FC vs Defence Force—6 pm
San Juan Jabloteh vs Point Fortin Civic—8 pm

Hasely Crawford Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Caledonia AIA—6 pm
North East Stars vs Central FC—8 pm