Promising Stokely Vale striker Rundell Winchester is among five new signings for Digicel Pro League newcomer, Central FC, as the “Sharks” aim to beef up its squad for the second half of the season.
Central is in fifth place in the Pro League at present with six points from four games although the Couva-based team has played two matches fewer than league leader, Defence Force, who has 13 points from six outings.
Central plays second place Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA from 6 pm today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium while leaders Defence Force plays defending champions DIRECTV W Connection from 8 pm at the same venue.
Central FC managing director and former 2006 World Cup defender Brent Sancho will run the club’s technical area against Caledonia in the absence of head coach Graham Rix, who is on personal business in England.
But all eyes will be on his new 19-year-old striker, Winchester, who announced his potential in the domestic cup competitions with a remarkable five goals from as many outings against Pro League teams.
Winchester has already scored against half the Pro League after a double against Police FC in the Toyota Classic Cup and solitary items against Caledonia and St Ann’s Rangers. And he signed off at Stokely Vale with a goal against Defence Force in the TTFF FA Trophy on Wednesday evening.
“It was nice to leave with a goal” said Winchester, via a Central press release. “I’m going to miss everyone at Stokely Vale, but I’m grateful to the club for supporting me and allowing me to move to Central FC.
“Mr Sancho came over to talk with me and my family and spent a couple of hours answering our questions. My parents and I are convinced that the club has my best interests at heart, and we felt this was the right move for me.”
Sancho, who also signed Winchester’s 20-year-old Stokely Vale teammate and central defender Omari Charles, is excited about Central’s new signings and was pleased by his meetings with the Tobago club.
“Talented youngsters like Rundell and Omar are key to the clubs development and we’ve been watching them for a while,” said Sancho. “I have to give kudos to the Stokely Vale management who never stood in the guys’ way and, in fact, were very supportive of their move, despite the fact that they’re still in the F.A. Trophy.
“This kind of willingness to put their players future in front of their clubs ambitions is very refreshing and they should be applauded for setting such a positive example.”
Winchester and Charles will be joined at Sharks by former Puerto Rico Islanders employees Osei Telesford and Justin Fojo as well as Connection winger Rennie Britto.
Telesford, a utility player with 22 national caps, is expected to go straight into the starting line-up today while Winchester will be among the substitutes.
They join a roster that already includes Trinidad and Tobago national team goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, 2006 World Cup squad member Anthony Wolfe, 2009 Under-20 World Cup defender Akeem Adams, former national winger Hayden Tinto and veteran ex-Caledonia and Jabloteh playmaker Marvin Oliver.
Central released five players to make way for the new signings including midfielder Kerron “Ballpest” Cummings, defender Kelvin Smith, utility player Kevaughn Connell and United States striker Ladule Rako-Losarah.
“We think this will send the right message that we are very serious,” Sancho told Wired868. “We are trying to achieve and win trophies here and we want the right players with the right attitude and ethos. It is a two way street and we think are showing by the players coming and the players heading out.”
Pro League fixtures
(Fri Dec 21)
Central FC v Caledonia AIA, 6 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium
Defence Force v W Connection, 8 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium.