Central wants to sign off in style

Kadeem Corbin, Nicholas Dillon to lead depleted CFU and Pro League champions against Jabloteh and Rangers

​Photo: Central FC midfielder and captain Leston Paul receives the Digicel Pro League 2015/16 trophy from TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene after the “Couva Sharks” defeated North East Stars 4-0 on May 8, 2016 to secure the crown.

Monday May 16, 2016

Central FC head coach Dale Saunders wants his side to end the season in style, although the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and Digicel Pro League champions are depleted ahead of clashes with San Juan Jabloteh and St. Ann’s Rangers this week to complete 2015/16 DPL fixtures.

The “Couva Sharks”, who recently repeated as Caribbean Club and DPL champions, will visit Jabloteh from 7pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday May 17 in a rescheduled fixture before signing off on Friday May 20 when they host Rangers from 6pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

“We would like to end in style,” said head coach Saunders, although his side remains without injured top-two goalkeeping choices Jan-Michael Williams (shoulder) and Akel Clarke (knee), while defender Andre Ettienne and midfielders Leston Paul and Sean De Silva have been recalled to the Trinidad and Tobago national team for upcoming friendly internationals against Peru (May 23), Uruguay (May 27) and China (June 3).

Meanwhile forward Marcus Joseph, coming off illness, will be available for the Jabloteh and Rangers fixtures before joining the T&T squad for the China game as a replacement for Dutch-based winger Levi Garcia.

“We have four players selected for the national team which presents a good opportunity for younger players like Kadeem Corbin and Nicholas Dillon and others like Elijah Manners who have been doing really well in training but needs playing time,” explained Saunders.

“We have sewn up the league already and want to see how they match up with more playing time as well look ahead to the CONCACAF Champions League (beginning in August).”

Central retained the DPL crown on May 8 by tallying an unassailable 55 points, while Jabloteh, though presently tied on 48 points with second position Defence Force, are seeking to secure a top-two finish which qualifies teams to the CFU Club Championship—the Caribbean qualifier tournament to the CONCACAF Champions League.

Jabloteh, with two games remaining, will first seek maximum points against Central before clashing with North East Stars in their final game on Saturday May 21. Defence Force, with one game left, will face Morvant Caledonia United on Saturday May 21.

“I know Jabloteh are fighting for second,” continued Saunders. “And while we want to end winning, we won’t be too hard on the players if we don’t.”

W Connection, this season’s First Citizens Cup and Toyota Classic champions, will also be in action on Tuesday May 17, when they host St. Ann’s Rangers from 7pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in another rescheduled clash before completing their league fixtures against Club Sando on Friday May 20.

Connection, who, like Central, have qualified for next season’s 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League out of this season’s CFU Club Championship, will later face Defence Force in the final of the 2016 Digicel Pro Bowl on May 27. 

Remaining 2015/16 fixtures

Tuesday May 17, 2016

Rescheduled Round Three Match Day Seven fixtures
Hasely Crawford Stadium
San Juan Jabloteh vs Central FC—7pm
Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection vs St. Ann’s Rangers—7pm 

Digicel Pro League 2015/16
Round Three Match Day Nine
Friday May 20, 2016
Ato Boldon Stadium

Central FC vs St. Ann’s Rangers—6pm
Club Sando vs W Connection—8pm

Saturday May 21, 2016
Mahaica Oval
Point Fortin Civic vs Police FC—6pm

Larry Gomes Stadium
Defence Force vs Morvant Caledonia United—4pm

Mannie Ramjohn Stadium
San Juan Jabloteh vs North East Stars—4pm

Digicel Pro Bowl Final
Friday May 27
Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection vs Defence Force