Central F.C. has secured more players signatures in their efforts to finalise their squad for the 2014/15 season.
Veteran midfielder, Marvin Oliver has committed himself to a further 2 years at the club, keeping him with The Sharks past his 40th birthday. The dreadlocked playmaker has had another solid season and was a key factor in the clubs 17 match unbeaten run, as well as scoring a magnificent free kick against W Connection in the league and the winning goal in the Lucozade Goal Shield.
"We keep thinking that Marvin will run out of steam" said Managing Director, Brent Sancho, "But he has more stamina than most of our younger guys. He's been with Central since the beginning and is a fantastic role model to our younger players. He is Mr Central"
Oliver's inspiration could well be a factor in the development of two of Central's big discoveries, Darren Mitchell and Rundell Winchester. Both Tobagonians extended their contracts to 2016 this week, which will be great news for Sharks supporters, and celebrated with a goal each in the 3-0 defeat of North East Stars in the Digicel Pro Bowl.
The dynamic duo were signed by Central from Tobago Super League clubs Stokely Vale and 1976 F.C. Phoenix in January 2013. 24 year old Mitchell made an immediate impression with his Paul Scholes style of box to box play, and received a call up to the national team just two months later.
Meanwhile, it took a First Citizens Cup winning goal and MVP award in October 2013 before the (then) 19 year old Winchester received his first international caps in the back to back games against Jamaica, where the speedy striker earned a penalty for Kenwyne Jones to convert. This season has seen Winchester mature into a clinical finisher, scoring 11 goals, while his pace and aggression has excited supporters consistently.
"Rundell is probably the fastest player in the Pro League" said Sancho. "But there is much more to his game. He's over 6ft and very strong. When he gets hit, he just bounces back up and gets on with the game.
Defenders have targeted him and he's taken a lot of knocks. His finishing has improved since he joined us and he's scored some wonderful goals for us."
Sancho said that the club will be looking to maintain their 100% Trini philosophy next season. “We have proved that a completely Trini squad can compete in the Pro League and win titles. While we will not discount gifted foreign players, we are looking at several Trinis based overseas.” Sancho said that he expects to see four or five Central players in Stephen Hart’s squad for the Argentina and Iran games.
“I expect Jan-Michael Williams, Willis Plaza and Ataullah Guerra to be there and I believe that Yohance Marshall and Rundell Winchester have done enough to warrant a call. We intend to make Stephen’s task even harder next season by increasing the talent pool on display in the Pro League.”
Sancho explained that even while players are signing new contracts, next seasons squad is still unknown.
“We have had requests for 5 of our players from overseas and we do not wish to stand in their way and will look at the benefits of any deal from both the players and the clubs perspective. Meanwhile, we are talking to several existing and former T&T internationals about coming home. So it’s difficult to picture where we need to strengthen at the moment. “
Sancho added that players like Jamal Jack, Leston Paul, Sean deSilva, Dwight Quintero, Nicholas Dillon and Levi Garcia will all be contenders for the national team next season.
“This season we have had such fierce competition for places and that must continue if we want to win more titles next season.”