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Central and Fenwick part ways; Vranes among possible new coaches

Caribbean and Pro League champions, Central FC, are on the hunt for a new head coach after failing to agree terms with Englishman, Terry Fenwick, who steered the “Couva Sharks” to the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship and Digicel Pro Bowl titles and led the team for their last three Pro League outings, as they wrapped up the domestic crown.

Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) whistles from the bench during his team's Pro League contest with Point Fortin Civic. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) whistles from the bench during his team’s Pro League contest with Point Fortin Civic.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Fenwick joined the Sharks in 2013 and led them to second place and a Caribbean Club Championship spot for the first time before he departed in June 2014 for a brief and disastrous stint with financially-ailing lower league Belgium club, CV Vise.

He replaced his own successor at Central, Serbian Zoran Vranes, in March 2015 and completed their League chase and added two more titles for good measure in as many months.

But the relationship between the two parties looks to have come to an abrupt end once more.

The outspoken coach, who was an England 1986 World Cup player, said he was in negotiations with Central for a new deal over the past month. However, he hinted that the two sides did not see eye-to-eye on the administrative state of the club.

Just after noon today, the Central board informed Fenwick, via email, that he would not receive a new contract.

Photo: Central FC striker Willis Plaza (second from right) is congratulated by head coach Terry Fenwick while his teammates join in during a Pro League fixture. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC striker Willis Plaza (second from right) is congratulated by head coach Terry Fenwick while his teammates join in during a Pro League fixture in 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I turned an offer down (from Central) 10 days ago and I gave them a ballpark at what i’m looking at,” Fenwick told Wired868. “But the situation is that at a time when the club has had such success and gotten a wonderful draw in the Champions League, there is a lot of disarray behind the scenes…

“It is not just my contract. None of the staff are signed up and most of the players are out of contract.”

Central operations director Kevin Harrison said he was not involved in Fenwick’s contract negotiations but suggested that the matter was a failed contract negotiation.

“(Fenwick) met with the board and I suppose what ever he wanted wasn’t met and he is gone,” said Harrison. “Without a doubt we wanted him to continue but presumably we couldn’t agree to the terms he wanted and that was that.”

Central’s close season featured a near mutiny by its players over bonus payments while nearly half the first team squad and the entire coaching staff is out of contract. And the Sharks will play their first Champions League game in less than two months.

Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front), operations director Kevin Harrison (top left) and teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Fenwick expressed frustration with the administrative state of the club.

“There is no understanding at what goes into making a successful team at board level,” he said, “and I am not prepared to continue with no staff and no players while we get closer to what is a huge game for Trinidad and Tobago football (against LA Galaxy).

“I wanted to start pre-season on Monday (June 29) and I would have wanted to be close to a full squad as possible… The club is in no shape or form ready for a CONCACAF draw against Galaxy.”

However, Harrison denied Central was in turmoil and claimed that their post-season sluggishness was a result of the drawn out contract negotiations with Fenwick. He said the Sharks hoped to have a head coach in place before they began signing support staff and players.

“Until the deal with Terry was agreed, we couldn’t agree contracts for coaching staff or players,” said Harrison. “If there is any delay on the part of Central FC, it was because of the delay with Terry. So now we will look for a new coach.”

Harrison, who is also British, said talks have begun with their coaching staff from last season and he suggested that any one from Dale Saunders, Kevin Jeffrey, Marc Leslie, George Romano or Anthony Rougier were fully capable of starting Central’s pre-season training.

Photo: Former Central FC head coach Zoran Vranes is now in charge of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Team. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Central FC head coach Zoran Vranes is now in charge of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Team.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

He revealed that Central board is likely to talk to its former head coach, Vranes, before interviewing new candidates. At present, Vranes is the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-23 Team head coach although he has not been paid by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFA).

The Serbian was shafted to allow Fenwick to carry the Sharks to glory last season. Harrison did not quite remember that way, though.

“We didn’t replace him, we moved him within the club,” said Harrison. “He did a fantastic job last year and we will be mad not to talk to him. You only have to look at his record last year to see that…

“But for now, I just want to know what his goal for the future is. We clearly cannot have a coach or technical director who is not available for us by the end of July.”

The Under-23 Team will be at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games in mid-July. And, if they advance from their Caribbean preliminary group, the Warriors face their next round of 2016 Olympic qualifiers in August.

Central FC have never hired a local coach. The club’s first appointment was Englishman Graham Rix who was followed by Fenwick, Vranes and Fenwick again.

Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) and North East Stars coach Angus Eve glare at each other during their 2014 Digicel Pro Bowl quarterfinal clash. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) and North East Stars coach Angus Eve glare at each other during their 2014 Digicel Pro Bowl quarterfinal clash.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Harrison suggested that Fenwick and Vranes could be considered “Trinis” by now but claimed the Sharks have interviewed locals and would not rule out hiring a head coach who was born in Trinidad and Tobago. And that includes this country’s most capped outfield player, Angus Eve, who just left his post at the helm of North East Stars.

Either way, Harrison claimed there was no panic at Central.

“We will sit down with Vranes to see what his situation is and we would not rule out having him as coach, technical director or caretaker,” he said. “There are several coaches who we will look to talk to, although there is no one in mind at the moment. But there is no panic.

“There will be certain staff that we will offer contracts to early next week and they will be able to take over training and get everything nice and stabilised. So when the players come back from the Gold Cup, everything is in place for them.”

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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  1. Things really bad if Vranes is on anyone’s short list

  2. Stop saying sports minister he is old news in a few weeks he and his corrupt government I get the S on the ground Jack go blow them out of the water is real files going and buss real soon

  3. And just to let alyuh know Central F.C. will never hire any local coaches eh, once the sports minister has any say. Them really good yes.

  4. Ah wonder if is meh sports minister eh he will be in for a very rude awakening . Them really good yes.

  5. Uncle Earl Mango Pierre guess who full out nomination papers for toco!!! Let the games begin!!

  6. Probably has better fish to fry.

  7. Kevin, calm down dude, its not that serious. Take win.

  8. Richard Zen O’Brien Yes, it’s about Central. So why bring politics into it? Just because you are opposed to the PP govt, doesn’t mean that every story has to have a political connotation. This is a football story, so why not discuss football? I didn’t see you cussing North East who haven’t much in the last 3 years. Maybe he’s operating like the PNM opposition party? Oh wait,,, Lets just keep it with football, yes?

  9. Ummmm…maybe because the article was about Central FC, maybe?

  10. I don’t understand the concern. Clubs negotiate with coaches all of the time. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t. Every coach has the right to ask for a salary that they would like. Every club has a budget to adhere to. Terry is an excellent coach, but terms could not be agreed. Richard Zen O’Brien, why are you not saying the same about North East Stars?

  11. That’s true. And it causes distrust and disrespect between coaches, administrators and players.

  12. Yes I understand,not meaning any disrespect to Angus or any of our local coaches, but the more our coaches take these jobs with poor administrators at the helm, they will only devalue themselves as coaches when they fail, because the most important aspect of the game,the players needs are not met,but because most coaches have mouths to feed,player’s needs comes in a distant second or third.

  13. Angus has to take it. He is a professional coach with few places to ply his trade. Few coaches can afford not to take it.
    The question is only if they would offer it to him.
    Or if Dennis Lawrence or someone would suggest another foreign coach.
    I think Reynold Carrington is another person with a shot too. Or Ross Russell. Or Derek King.
    All national coaches are available in my book although Stephen Hart has worked outside and should be able to swing better options from his stint in charge.

  14. Personally I don’t think Eve has ever been chummy with Sancho and Harrison. So I doubt it Che. But time will tell.

  15. Angus Eve is earmarked… Cannot see vranes returning…..

  16. Central deserves credit for what they achieved in three years though. And Fenwick has won trophies at every spell with a club including a bankrupt Jabloteh.
    So credit where it is due too.

  17. A multi sports complex like jean pirre that can benefit so many sports is wasting away and we putting USD In a bunch of 4th rated foreign players

  18. Yeah but we taking 2 million 2 run a stupid wpl for 6 weeks I swear these people care nothing for past heroes not a damn thing

  19. Every time i pass by it i say the same thing

  20. You know what is the biggest injustice in TNT its the Jean Peirre Complex I am sure mrs pierre must be rolling over in her grave at the condition of that place that was the place where we won our 1st and only world netball title and 2 see it look that way is a disgrace to a great woman of sport

    • Great memories of Ray “Golden” Apollon, Thunderbolt Williams, Abdullah The Butcher… Victor Jovica et al, plying their trade at the Jean Pierre, Arima Velodrome and other venues back in the day. Sad to hear. I still remember how momentous it was when the women won the title in 1979.

  21. Well they had 2 shorten it

  22. That woulda been a whole email Dion

  23. But penny is bowen chow now

  24. So by tomorrow Frederick will be LaRonde Road.

  25. Queen St/Penny Commissiong St. How are you supposed the address your mail?

  26. Mango I feel the league should rename Central fc from the sharks to the Snakes

  27. hahahahaha like he has been hanging with meh untie Kams and smoking that same thing or what eh. Them really good yes.

  28. Talking bout the mayor. U ent see he ketch a vaps and renamed Queen Street?

  29. Oh gosh alyuh forgive KH nah, he was an insurance fella the same as the Mayor before he got involved in the football. Them really good yes.

  30. Haven’t I been signing that song for almost a year now that KH and others at Central fc are liars con artists and frauds

  31. Not many places to earn a good living as a football coach in Trinidad Prince Borde. That is the sad reality.

  32. Reyna Kowlessar do not want to get involved in a family squabble but by now everyone in local football know that!! The best war coach terry is a colourful character but KH is a career lair it seems

  33. couldn’t sit back and not comment, Kevin you are a LIAR!.. lemme guess, your technical staff waiting on Terry to…rubbish.

  34. If and only if the TTFA sees this as a blessing in disguise and snap up Fenwick to be a defensive coach to Hart for the Gold Cup, I might be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel for Trinidad and Tobago football. It would make for interesting politics as well! Besides we will all know that he is capable of ‘bowing’ players for the fans if they really play crap.

  35. Mango you know what I am laughing at is anaconda phython and black and white mamba snake up in their so is only a matter of time before they start to cut each other throat look trouble now

  36. uncle you take the words from my mouth! Have videos, pictures, texs and whats apps messages uncle jack aint go want nothing with us watch and see!!

  37. Brian Springer meh nephew Gordon Pierre have better than meh uncle Jack eh…..the videos will soon be bussing in ah timing. Them reallly good yes. hahahaha

  38. Dion Sosa don’t laugh at them nah man, this just means that with other teams and players joining our professional league eh, there will be more business for you in the future and continuing helping our young disciplined serious players with contracts abroad so just forgive and continue to pray for them cause they don’t know what they are doing.

  39. Gordon Pierre yuh bussing more marks than “Uncle Jack”…only ting he have on you is he does bring audio tapes lol

  40. Ha ha ha ha ha this is so funny I can’t stop laughing as did humpty dumpty here comes Central fc walls coming crash down there is more fallout 2 come as I always say God don’t like ugly

  41. Well yuh done know that Terry will also be taking some of Central players with him ent , well it will just make our professional league gets more interesting with the two additional teams and also new younger players will be making monies and getting contracts abroad which will be very good for our national team and our sweet country.

  42. I know uncle i was just yanking the chain when i call Angus and Ma Pau i
    does always have the inside scope!

  43. And the only way that Zoran Vranes will take back the Central. F.C. job is if their offer is better than Point. F.C. Them really good yes.

  44. Gordon Pierre ah told alyuh so. Them really good yes.

  45. Dog and the bone comes to mind.

  46. Uncle Earl Mango Pierre look trouble now!! Seem like we files coming out!

  47. …so let me get this straight….you hire a man as coach…then get rid of him claiming he is now your Technical Director…hire your previous coach…who now resigns…and then you are thinking of appointing the man you got rid of….hmmmmmm

  48. Central operating like the PP govt. Oh wait…

  49. Time to go get my coaching licences yes … Smh

  50. Hannibal Najjar

    An always coming-and-going horse – ride on TeFe!

  51. Lol

    Work for a couple mths win trophies

    Ride out

  52. Seems like the rumors are true

  53. Well. That didn’t last long….

  54. Lawd!!! Get it together Sharks! Get it together!! I can only see down hill from here if they don’t keep most of their players. According to Earl Mango “them really good yes”

  55. He will be back because try as we may we can’t get this man to leave Trinidad permanently.