But Stars, Connection and Civic begs to differ ahead of Friday’s semis
“The team that no one wants to play is Central FC.” That’s the belief of Central FC head coach Terry Fenwick ahead of Friday’s 2014 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield (LSGS) semi-final round at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Fenwick’s boldness comes from his team’s incredible unbeaten run in 15 games in all competitions with an 8-match winning streak, which includes convincingly defeating Caledonia AIA back-to-back, 4-0 and 5-1, in the past week.
On Friday Central will take on North East Stars from 6 pm in semi-final one at the Couva venue, and two hours later from 8 pm, defending champions and two-time LSGS winners W Connection are against tournament debutants Point Fortin Civic in semi-final one.
“My team is brimming with confidence at the moment and the players all feel they are invincible,” added Fenwick, who led the “Sharks” to this season’s First Citizens Cup and currently has the club second on Digicel Pro League standings, seven points adrift of leaders and bitter-rivals W Connection.
“It’s my job just to maintain the (confidence and invincible) spirit,” continued the former England and Tottenham defender. “And if we do that… who knows what we would achieve at the end.”
But contrary to Fenwick’s belief, the Stars, Connection and Civic all said they are always ready and willing to entertain any contest against the “Sharks”.
W Connection captain and defensive midfielder Gerard Williams even suggested a LSGS Final clash against Central on April 25.
“Right now they (Central) are on a good streak and unbeaten in the last (15) games so they are confident,” said the St. Kitts/Nevis international. “But any team they come up against are willing to play them I’m sure. I don’t think any team are afraid, especially Connection, because we would be glad to meet them (in the Final).”
Connection have already captured this season’s Digicel Charity Shield, Toyota Classic and the FA Trophy. Now Williams and company, coming off Tuesday's 6-1 thumping of Police FC in the league, are now hoping to go all the way in defending the LSGS which they won in 2009 and 2013.
Connection and Civic have met four times already this season with the “Savonnetta Boys” outlasting the Point Fortin club 6-5 on penalties in the quarter-final round of the First Citizens Cup following a 0-0 draw at the Mahaica Oval, then defeated the southerners 2-0 in Round One of the league.
But in Round Two the Stuart Charles Fevrier-coached Connection suffered a 2-1 defeat and were held to a 1-1 draw in Round Three.
“We are looking to try and go straight through and win the (LSGS) title back-to-back,” said Williams. “We are the defending champions of the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield. The last time we played Civic we were leading and the last minute of the game they drew level. Friday’s match will be an exciting match and we are looking to come out number one and go into the Final.”
Civic are also eyeing the Final spot—a first as head coach for Reynold Carrington.
Carrington, a former Connection player and assistant coach, said the knockout tournaments will always see the best teams meet each other at times, and that he is simply focused on Civic reaching its first Final.
“We are against Connection and we are aware that on the day, everything takes place, and no two games are the same," said the Civic coach. They are at the top of the league at present but this is a new game and a different competition and we are going to put our best effort and try to reach our first Final.”
As for North East Stars head coach Angus Eve, looking ahead to his semi-final clash against Fenwick’s Central, the former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder said, “I think that they (Central) are on a good run of form. Fenwick has bought well in the transfer window with the signings of Willis Plaza and Ataullah Guerra. We have respect for each club but that’s where the cork ends.
“I think we are totally prepared for Terry Fenwick’s game. I’ve worked with Fenwick and have a good understanding of his plans. Both Central and North East Stars are well-coached. We are both good teams that keep good shape and discipline, so it will be a tight game tactically.”
This season Central defeated the Stars 2-1 in the quarter-final round of the First Citizens Cup en route to lifting the title, but were held to 1-1 draws against the Sangre Grande club in both Round One and Two of the league competition.
Fenwick, who also anticipates an entertaining semi-final against the Stars, added, “I think it would be a good game as usual. They (North East Stars) have just had one off the chin, beaten 1-0 by Civic (on Tuesday), so they will be trying to overcome that result. As for us, we have been on the back of two good results, scoring 9 goals in two games against the former Caribbean champions, Caledonia.
He admitted however, “We have parts of our game to improve on, but I ‘m sure we will have a very competitive side out on Friday night.”
2014 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield Semi-Final Round
Friday 11 April
Ato Boldon Stadium
Central FC vs North East Stars—6 pm
W Connection vs Point Fortin Civic—8 pm
Friday 25 April
Ato Boldon Stadium