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Far from finished: Wired868 reviews its top Pro League players and photographs

Another Pro League season, another league trophy for Central FC. In truth, the “Couva Sharks” triumph was only half of the story in a local top flight season that did not lack intrigue despite the shortened duration.

Wired868 plays tribute to the Pro League players that shone most consistently this term:

Photo: W Connection goalkeeper Julani Archibald dives to his left to keep out a penalty from North East Stars midfielder Kerry Daniel during the 2016 Pro Bowl semifinal on May 13 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. Connection won 4-2 on kicks from the penalty spot. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection goalkeeper Julani Archibald dives to his left to keep out a penalty from North East Stars midfielder Kerry Daniel during the 2016 Pro Bowl semifinal on May 13 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
Connection won 4-2 on kicks from the penalty spot.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Julani Archibald (W Connection/Goalkeeper):

No team conceded less goals than W Connection this season and Archibald, a strong, composed and competitive custodian, is a big reason for that statistic. At 25, the St Kitts and Nevis international served notice that he isn’t knocking on the door anymore. He is here!

Carlos Edwards (Ma Pau Stars/right back):

Age is just a number. At 38, Edwards was the grand-pappy of the Pro League this season. And, yes, his performances dipped slightly when used at left back. But on the right side of the defence, he oozed consistency and demonstrated good one on one defending skills and an overlapping threat. Stars flattered to deceive this season. But Carlos sure didn’t.

Photo: Ma Pau Stars right back Carlos Edwards (left) gets past St Ann's Rangers defender Jameel Antoine during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 October 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Ma Pau Stars right back Carlos Edwards (left) gets past St Ann’s Rangers defender Jameel Antoine during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 October 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force/central defender):

They call him “Boyo” but, if you’re a forward, it would be wise to ask his permission first. Fast, street-wise and plenty mean, Gonzales makes up for his lack of height with a surplus of heart. Mind your ankles!

Julius James (Central FC/central defender):

There are a few Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coaches over the past seven years who should be blushing at overlooking “King James.” Tough, smart and competent, few attackers left a confrontation with James without needing a word with their physio. Even fewer walked away with the ball.

Photo: Central FC defender Julius James (right) looks for passing options during Pro League action against Defence Force at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 24 January 2017. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC defender Julius James (right) looks for passing options during Pro League action against Defence Force at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 24 January 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Kevon Villaroel (Central FC/left back):

Villaroel does not bomb down the left flank like he did in his heyday anymore. But, arguably, the defensive side of his game has improved. And he showcased his versatility and willingness to sacrifice for the cause with a shift in central defence when the “Central Sharks” endured their now customary HR issues.

Hughtun Hector (W Connection/central midfield):

Hector’s right boot is probably qualified to teach engineering. Despite the regular “distractions” of international duty, the pocket-sized maestro again demonstrated his class in a range of roles for the “Savonetta Boys” and finished with 10 goals in all competitions. At 32, it is not a question of if Hector can still contribute at a higher level. Only where he will contribute.

Photo: W Connection captain Hughton Hector (right) controls the ball during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 25 August 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection captain Hughton Hector (right) controls the ball during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 25 August 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Leston Paul (Central FC/central midfield):

Strong, steady and competent in defence and offence, the 26-year-old midfielder arguably had his best Pro League term yet. There were just two goals all season and one came from the penalty spot. But there is no other aspect of the game that Paul would leave you feeling shortchanged.

Darren Mitchell (Central FC/right midfield):

Scoring game winners was like child’s play for “Chucky” this season. And goals barely scratch the surface in terms of his contribution to Central FC’s unprecedented third successive Pro League titles. Athletic and enthusiastic, Mitchell performed competently in every role across the Central midfield and even at right back.

Photo: Central FC captain Darren Mitchell (centre) tussles with San Juan Jabloteh players Nathan Lewis (right) and Akeem Benjamin during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 February 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC captain Darren Mitchell (centre) tussles with San Juan Jabloteh players Nathan Lewis (right) and Akeem Benjamin during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 February 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

And, for his consistent excellence and infectious attitude, we think there was no player who made a bigger mark on the 2016/17 Pro League season. So, Mitchell is our Wired868 Pro League All Star MVP!

Hashim Arcia (Defence Force/attacking midfielder):

Arcia’s finally out of the closet! After a string of anaemic performances with only flashes of talent in his first season with Defence Force, Arcia rewarded coach Marvin Gordon’s trust and patience this term, as he moved out of first gear at last and thrilled with his range of passing, close control and eye catching goals.

A key factor in the Army/Coast Guard combination’s two Cup triumphs this season.

Photo: Defence Force playmaker Hashim Arcia (right) attempts to glide past San Juan Jabloteh defender Jerome Isaiah McIntyre during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force playmaker Hashim Arcia (right) attempts to glide past San Juan Jabloteh defender Jerome Isaiah McIntyre during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Dimitrie Apai (W Connection/left midfield):

Call him the Hitman from Suriname. Quick, skilful and aggressive, the 22 year old Apai was in roaring form this season as he buzzed around opposing defences like a wasp and finished with nine league goals in the abbreviated season.

Akeem Roach (Club Sando/striker):

At times, it looked like Roach was playing the number 9 and 10 roles all on his own. And sometimes the 11 and 7 too! Strong, skilful and fast, the winger-cum-striker’s 11 league goals were the most in the Pro League—although there is the matter of an unfinished Defence Force game against Point Fortin Civic that could possibly change the eventual Golden Boot winner.

Photo: Club Sando forward Akeem Roach (right) is watched closely by W Connection defender Jelani Peters during Pro League action on 10 January 2017 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Club Sando forward Akeem Roach (right) is watched closely by W Connection defender Jelani Peters during Pro League action on 10 January 2017 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Consider Roach to be “an unpolished Cornell Glen.” And that says volumes about his potential.

And the next best things:

Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC/goalkeeper):

Williams’ season was interrupted with injuries this term. But he remains one of the safest pairs of hands in the Pro League and was invaluable again to his Central’s success.

Photo: Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams saves a penalty during the Digicel Charity Shield on 10 September 2016. Central won 3-1 from kicks from the penalty mark after a 2-2 regulation time draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams saves a penalty during the Digicel Charity Shield on 10 September 2016.
Central won 3-1 from kicks from the penalty mark after a 2-2 regulation time draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Keston George (Central FC/defender):

Another of Central’s “Mr Fix-Its”, George has played in four or five different roles for the “Couva Sharks” from defence to midfield. And they have not found one that he looks uncomfortable in yet.

Jameel Antoine (St Ann’s Rangers/midfielder):

He calls himself “Messi.” We won’t go nearly that far! But Antoine is a solid box to box central midfielder who is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Photo: St Ann's Rangers midfielder Jameel Antoine (centre) is harassed by W Connection players Daneil Cyrus (left) and Kevon Goddard during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 4 November 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann’s Rangers midfielder Jameel Antoine (centre) is harassed by W Connection players Daneil Cyrus (left) and Kevon Goddard during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 4 November 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Jelani Peters (W Connection/defender):

Strong, tough and comfortable on the ball, Peters is undroppable in a Connection team that is not short of defensive talent. The sky is the limit if he stays focused.

Christon Thomas (Police FC/winger):

A crafty dribbler and competent crosser of the ball, you are in trouble when Thomas takes possession in the final third of the field.

Photo: Police FC attacking midfielder Christon Thomas (centre) takes on the Point Fortin Civic team singlehandedly during First Citizens Cup action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 14 November 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Police FC attacking midfielder Christon Thomas (centre) takes on the Point Fortin Civic team singlehandedly during First Citizens Cup action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 14 November 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando/midfielder):

Humphrey must have an extra set of lungs. Another versatile and spiky figure who never saw a battle that he didn’t think he could win.

Dylon King (Morvant Caledonia United/attacker):

He started the season with St Ann’s Rangers and ended it in a Morvant Caledonia United shirt, which is the fourth time he swapped clubs in as many years. But King and his itchy feet will continue to be wooed by Pro League coaches, as long as he remains a threat in possession and behind a dead ball.

Photo: St Ann's Rangers midfielder Dylon King (centre) charges towards the Ma Pau Stars defence during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 October 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann’s Rangers midfielder Dylon King (centre) charges towards the Ma Pau Stars defence during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 October 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh/winger):

Jabloteh underperformed this term but Lewis was as dangerous as ever down the flank and, for the second straight season, led his club in goals.

Jamille Boatswain (Defence Force/striker):

Boatswain swapped Mahaica Oval for the Teteron Barracks in mid-season and few people have made moving house look so easy. Just give him the ball in or around the opposing penalty box. He will know what to do.

Photo: Defence Force striker Jamille Boatswain (centre) prepares to steer his hattrick goal past Police FC goalkeeper Adrian Foncette (right) during the Pro Bowl semifinals at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 12 February 2017. Defence Force won 4-0. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force striker Jamille Boatswain (centre) prepares to steer his hattrick goal past Police FC goalkeeper Adrian Foncette (right) during the Pro Bowl semifinals at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 12 February 2017.
Defence Force won 4-0.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Jason Marcano (Central FC/attacker):

Nobody laughs at his high pitch screams for the ball anymore. They are usually followed by penetrative runs at the opposing goal.

And now here are some of our favourite Wired868 Pro League images this season:

Photo: Central FC goal scorers Jason Marcano (left) and Johan Peltier celebrate during their 2-0 win over Morvant Caledonia United in Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC goal scorers Jason Marcano (left) and Johan Peltier celebrate during their 2-0 win over Morvant Caledonia United in Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection and Suriname international attacker Dimitrie Apai (centre) takes a crack at goal during Pro League action against St Ann's Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 17 January 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection and Suriname international attacker Dimitrie Apai (centre) takes a crack at goal during Pro League action against St Ann’s Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 17 January 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Ma Pau Stars striker Jason Scotland (left) holds off Police FC midfielder Kenaz Williams in the First Citizens Cup semifinal on 27 November 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Ma Pau Stars striker Jason Scotland (left) holds off Police FC midfielder Kenaz Williams in the First Citizens Cup semifinal on 27 November 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC custodian Javon Sample (centre) dives in vain to try to deny Sporting Kansas City attacker Kevin Ellis (left) while defender Elton John looks on during 2016 CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016. Both teams played to a 2-2 draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC custodian Javon Sample (centre) dives in vain to try to deny Sporting Kansas City attacker Kevin Ellis (left) while defender Elton John looks on during 2016 CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann's Rangers attacker Jomoul Francois (centre) runs at the W Connection defence during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 4 November 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann’s Rangers attacker Jomoul Francois (centre) runs at the W Connection defence during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 4 November 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan Jabloteh defender Jerome Isaiah McIntyre (left) finds himself on the end of a crunching tackle from Defence Force left back Akile Edwards during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan Jabloteh defender Jerome Isaiah McIntyre (left) finds himself on the end of a crunching tackle from Defence Force left back Akile Edwards during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Ma Pau Stars striker Jerrel Britto (centre) lines up a shot while Morvant Caledonia United defenders Taje Commissiong (left) and Ordell Flemming look on during Pro League at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 22 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Ma Pau Stars striker Jerrel Britto (centre) lines up a shot while Morvant Caledonia United defenders Taje Commissiong (left) and Ordell Flemming look on during Pro League at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 22 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann's Rangers and Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Josh Toussaint (left) executes a Cruyff turn during Pro League action against W Connection at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 17 January 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann’s Rangers and Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Josh Toussaint (left) executes a Cruyff turn during Pro League action against W Connection at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 17 January 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan Jabloteh midfielder Kion Joseph (right) tries to dribble past Police FC defender Nequan Caruth during Pro League at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 1 November 2016. Jabloteh won 3-2. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan Jabloteh midfielder Kion Joseph (right) tries to dribble past Police FC defender Nequan Caruth during Pro League at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 1 November 2016.
Jabloteh won 3-2.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC attacker Jason Marcano (left) offers Morvant Caledonia United goalkeeper Stephon Seepersad a hand during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC attacker Jason Marcano (left) offers Morvant Caledonia United goalkeeper Stephon Seepersad a hand during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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11 comments

  1. Had Etienne and Marcus Joseph stay around till the end they would’ve been there too

  2. Not if they stay in our sweet country so they better get packing and head out to the real professional leagues abroad and that should really be their game plan for our dedicated, serious, and plenty of discipline players who really wants to fulfill their dreams and to make millions of monies eh and I really hoping that they all will also attain the services of financial advisor and don’t end up broke the same like some of our ex- professional football players who have returned to our sweet country eh. Them really good yes.

  3. Darren Chucky Mitchell Top performer

    Many other players earned their right to be included and I believe they have. In particular Jelani Peters, and Jameel Messi Antoine. I personally worked with these young players at there game, and they have finally gotten to where that point, they can only go upwards from here.

  4. Well maybe starting from the next Football Festival in 2018 and moving forward you can get a sponsor or sponsors to come on board with Wired and honor the 21 players with a phone or a boots of their choice eh the same thing that you did for the MVP Marvin Oliver and Kerwin Jemmott because I know that a lot of folks really like what you are doing for the football/sports/ and other news in our sweet country eh Mr. Live Wire and doh worry my suggestion is for free eh. hahahaha

    • Yes. I am sticking. For starters, I have to get a nice token for Nathan Lewis for last season and one for my new MVP Darren Mitchell!

    • And if I don’t make it to the Football Festival 2018 because you never know how the way things are going these days eh, and the next thing the good Lord is ready for me to come home never forget to always remember our fallen footballers eh and you know when you started the first Football Festival that was my part to always mentioned and it really slipped me when my baller for life Darin Lewis told me that I had to say a few words at the past one so now that Trini Don is also a member of wired volley 868 I know that he will also remind you eh. hahahaha

    • And before I forget Mr. Live Wire I like the way you recruiting your players now to represent wired volley eh, but try your best you can keep Nathan Lewis but Darren Chucky Mitchell belongs on Darin Lewis team eh, leh meh give him a call and offer him the big monies in order to play for us eh. hahahahaha

    • Lol. Nah. They’re too young!