Vranes: My role at Central is bigger than titles

Central FC head coach Zoran Vranes, centre, is presented with the 2014 First Citizens Cup Coach of the Tournament award from Warren Sookdar, First Citizens Chief Information Officer, and TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene, left.
Monday 3 November 2014 

Zoran Vranes’ is ambitious of leading Central FC to every major title available but the main objective of the 63-year-old “Couva Sharks” head coach is much bigger than winning titles.

“We are working on playing a higher level of the game… that’s my role here,” said the Serbian after leading his side to 1-0 win over North East Stars last Friday in the Final of the 2014 First Citizens Cup—successfully defending the club’s first ever title.

On July 10 Vranes, a former Trinidad and Tobago Senior, Under 20 and Under 23 coach, joined Central on a two-year agreement, filling the position left vacant by former San Juan Jabloteh four-time league winning coach Terry Fenwick, who took up a similar position at Belgium lower division side CS Vise.

Last season Fenwick led Central to the First Citizens Cup and Lucozade Sport Goal Shield titles as well as the runners-up position in the Digicel Pro League to join champions W Connection for the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship, the region’s qualifying competition for the CONCACAF Champions League.

Upon his unveiling as new Central FC head coach during the 2014-2015 pre-season, Vranes said, “He (Fenwick) has been very successful with Central… but I don’t want to say that is our limit. I believe that we have the ability to [make the next step] and that’s what I’m here for.”

The Central FC coach said that Trinidadians have the potential to do well, even at the Concacaf Champions League level, but can only do so with the right discipline.

Vranes, who led T&T, inclusive of such players as Central’s Leston Paul and Sean de Silva, to the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, promised on his arrival as new Central FC coach that he would work very hard to develop players further but admitted “it will take some time for players to adapt to my style, which is different from Fenwick.”

W Connection spoiled Vranes’ debut on September 20 when the “Savonnetta Boys” edged Central 1-0 to win the Digicel Charity Shield for a third consecutive time. But since then Central have enjoyed a six match undefeated run – in all competitions – climaxing with last Friday’s First Citizens Cup title win over North East Stars, thanks to a second half strike by midfielder Paul.

“It’s a sweet victory,” said Vranes during his post-game press conference. “It was a tough game but we deserved the win.”

Although he expressed joy over his first title at Central FC coach, Vranes explained, “Trophies does not mean as much to me because I’m about improving the players and having a good team for better play.

“It’s very important to us (winning the first trophy of the season) but now we must look to continue from this for good performance and more trophies.”

Central will next welcome Police FC from 3.30 pm at the Gilbert Park in Couva on Sunday 9 November in the Digicel Pro League 2014-2015 championship Round One Match Day Four.

However the Round kicks off on Tuesday 4 November at the Marvin Lee Stadium when Defence Force meet Caledonia AIA from 6 pmfollowed by San Juan Jabloteh against North East Stars from 8 pm. And at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, reigning league champions W Connection will take on last season’s table propping St. Ann’s Rangers from 6 pm

Digicel Pro League 2014-2015
Round One Match Day Four
Tuesday 4 November 2014
Marvin Lee Stadium
Defence Force vs Caledonia AIA—6 pm
San Juan Jabloteh vs North East Stars—8 pm

Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection vs St. Ann’s Rangers—6 pm

Sunday 9 November 2014
Gilbert Park, Couva

Central FC vs Police FC—3.30 pm

Point Fortin Civic (bye)