A NEW-LOOK Central FC outfit will embark on their 2018 CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship tomorrow, when they leave for the Dominican Republic to face Portmore United of Jamaica, Racing FC of Haiti and host club Atlantico FC, in Group B action.
The round-robin stage will run from February 7-11.
At a media launch at the refurbished Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya yesterday, the Brent Sancho-owned Central FC unveiled their 20-man squad, which features only seven players from their calamitous 2017 TT Pro League campaign. Entering last season with a hat-trick of Pro League titles, the club suffered badly due to lack of finances and finished ninth in the 10-team competition.
However, with Hydro Tech and Lollabee Group of Companies providing monetary assistance towards the club, a number of players have come on board as the team vie for a spot in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League.
Experienced Trinidad and Tobago defender Carlyle Mitchell has joined the team as a free agent and has been entrusted with the role as captain, with evergreen midfielder Densill Theobald, who left current Pro League champs North East Stars during the off-season, named as the team’s vice-captain.
From the team’s 2016-2017 title campaign, midfielders Darren Mitchell (who was the team’s captain during that season), and Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings, as well as striker Kerry Baptiste (who was part of the 2017 North East Stars outfit) and goalkeeper Javon Sample have returned, as well as utility player Anthony Wolfe.
National team wingers Nathan Lewis and Tyrone Charles have joined from San Juan Jabloteh while defender Jameel Neptune swapped North East for Central FC.
Another prominent name in the squad is veteran striker Cornell Glen, who last played for the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) in the 2017 National Super League.
The technical staff has also been revamped with Anthony Rougier as assistant coach, Saaron Joseph as trainer, Esmond O’Brien as equipment manager and Denise Ramdoo as team manager.
Team coach Stern John said, “It’s a fantastic time to be around Central FC. We’re happy the sponsors have come on board.”
The former ace national striker pointed out, “After last season, we had a lot of players (who) moved on because of the financial situation. We had to rebuild (the) team for the Club Championship. We have a lot of experienced players, we have a lot of youngsters as well too. We’re trying to blend the youngsters with the senior players,” added the current TT national team assistant coach. “We don’t have the luxury to get rid of our experienced players. I think we need to get them involved in football still so we can bring the younger players through.”