Debutantes Central FC hopes to start its maiden Digicel Pro League campaign in front of a large crowd on Friday when the “Sharks” kick off against Police FC from 6 pm at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
Central and Police will be followed by defending Caribbean champions Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA and Pro League champions DirecTV W Connection in an intriguing double header.
Central managing director and former World Cup 2006 defender Brent Sancho believes that there will be plenty to excite football fans and is calling on workers and residents from central Trinidad to come out and support their team.
“Our game is perfectly timed for the workers at Point Lisas to take in the game after work and get behind their local team,” said Sancho. “We’re hoping that supporters from Chaguanas, Couva and the whole Central region will be there to witness our first league match.”
“It’s been a long, hard four months since Kevin (Harrison) and I conceived Central FC. But the support from sponsors, local businesses and the Central community has carried us through.
“We now just hope that the supporters get behind the lads, as they are an important part of a successful team.”
Central lost 3-0 to Defence Force in its only competitive game thus far in the First Citizens Cup. The Sharks’ English coach Graham Rix, once an assistant coach at Chelsea, said the long layoff offered extra time to prepare his side. But he just wants to get on the field now.
“We just want to start playing competitive games,” said Rix. “I am so pleased with my players’ work rate in training and I have every confidence that we can take all three points.”
Central operations director Kevin Harrison said the club would distribute free match programmes at the game while supporters’ tee-shirts and Sharks noisemakers will be on sale. He credited the Pro League’s operational staff for its work in promoting the competition and its additional assistance to clubs as a good sign for the future.
“The League has taken away some of our workload and expenses by providing the medical cover, manning the turnstiles and providing entertainment etcetera,” said Harrison. “For clubs like Central FC with a very small staff, this relieves a lot of pressure. It is essential that the League and the clubs work more closely to provide a better supporter experience.”
The Central footballers, led by captain Anthony Wolfe, will aim to do their part on the field against Police.