‘Central Sharks’ hoping to stay ahead in Pro League

Central FC midfielder Darren Mitchell, left, gets past a challenge from W Connection forward Jamal Clarence during a clash between both sides back in October.
Monday 15 December 2014

With defending champions DIRECTV W Connection in hot pursuit and with a game in hand, Digicel Pro League (DPL) 2014-2015 leaders Central FC are aware fully aware of the consequences, if they were to drop points before the Christmas break.

“We are going to play to continue on top,” Central FC head coach Zoran Vranes told www.ttproleague.com on Monday. “We have two more matches in the round and we cannot depend on the results of other teams.”

Central, with 13 points at the top of the table after six matches, will face sixth-positioned North East Stars (7 points) from 8 pm on Thursday 16 December at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Round One Match Day Seven.

And from 6 pm at the Couva venue, Connection, presently second on the table with 10 points from five matches, will have a chance to put some added pressure on Central when they tackle third-positioned Police FC.

The Round, however, kicks off on Tuesday 16 December with a double header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Fourth-positioned Caledonia AIA and fifth-positioned Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh, both with 8 points each, will clash from 6 pm, followed by seventh-positioned Defence Force (6 points) against eight-positioned Point Fortin Civic (4 points) from 8 pm. While bottom of the table St. Ann’s Rangers out on the bye.

With the Rawle Fletcher Trophy and an added incentive of $35,000 up for grabs at the end of the Round One, Central must win its remaining matches (against North East Stars on Tuesday and against Point Fortin Civic in Round One Match Day Eight on the weekend before sitting out on the bye in Round One Match Day Nine on January 9) in order to cement the position.

Central heads into Tuesday’s contest following last week’s impressive 4-0 league win over newly crowned 2014 Toyota Classic champions Jabloteh, while rivals Connection edged Defence Force 2-1 on the same day.

“It is going to be tough because North East Stars are solid and it will also be tough against Civic,” continued Vranes, who guided the “Central Sharks” to this season’s 2014 First Citizens Cup with a 1-0 win over the Stars on October 31. “(…) but I believe we have a good chance of winning our remaining matches in the round.

“We are not taking about the money (incentive) in our sessions but if we win it will be a nice little bonus for the Christmas.

“But we are more focused on good performances… good individual performances because we are expecting our players to do well in CFU (Caribbean Football Union) Club Championship and in the Concacaf (Champions League).”

Vranes, who plans to add to his roster in the January window, said his current players are now a little more serious about life and things are looking up for the first time since his arrival at the club in July.

Digicel Pro League 2014
Round One Match Day Seven
Tuesday 16 December 2014
Hasely Stadium Stadium
Caledonia AIA vs San Juan Jabloteh—6 pm
Defence Force vs Point Fortin Civic—8 pm

Thursday 18 December 2014
W Connection vs Police FC—6 pm
Central FC vs North East Stars—8 pm

Rangers (bye)

Digicel Pro League 2014-2015 Standings
Teams                        P  W  D  L  GF GA GD Points

1 Central FC                6  4   1   1  19  6   13    13
2 W Connection           5  3   1   1  10  3    7     10
3 Police FC                  6  2   3   1  9    9    0     9
4 Caledonia AIA           5  2   2   1  8    7    1     8
5 San Juan Jabloteh     5  2   2   1  4    6    -2     8
6 North East Stars        5  2   1   2  4    3     1     7
7 Defence Force           5  2   0   3  8    9    -1     6
8 Point Fortin Civic FC   5  1   1   3  8   11   -3     4
9 St. Ann's Rangers      6  0   1   5  4   20  -16     1