The race for the 2016/2017 Pro League title resumes on Friday following a short Christmas break and all eyes are on Central F.C who are yet to taste defeat in this campaign.
The defending champions are four points ahead of their nearest challengers, Direct TV W Connection and with six matches to go Dale Saunders and his men must stay focus. “The ball is round and anything can happen so we are not leaving anything to chance. The team is working hard and we remain vigilant” Saunders told Pro League media.
“We know how to win titles and will do everything it takes to successfully defend this one plus, we are fully aware of what’s happening around us which is motivation to keep focused and working hard” said the former National midfielder.
What’s comforting for the Central Sharks is the satisfaction of already dispatching W Connection in this second round of league action, which means Stuart Charles-Fervier’s team will need some help if they are to wrest the championship trophy away from the holders. That help could start as early as Tuesday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium when the Sharks face a resurgent Defence Force, winner of their last four league encounters. Led by a rampant Devorn Jorsling up front, Marvin Gordon’s team has been unstoppable since winning the First Citizens Cup in early December and although they are thirteen points adrift of Central, their recent form will give them hope of at least a Champions League spot after a terrible start to the season.
A victory for the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen could buss the title race wide open if ‘W’ gets pass a tricky Club Sando in the first game of the Hasely Crawford double header. According to the Connection coaching staff they will do what they must do because the race is not over and there are teams still capable of upsetting the defending champs.
Also in the chasing pack is San Juan Jabloteh who sit in third, some 12 points out of the lead and eight behind Connection. Head Coach and Technical Director Keith Jeffrey is not ruling out a run for the league title but also has his eyes on a bigger picture. “We have CFU Champions League starting in February so our focus includes that because it’s our intention to make club and country proud. If we finish in the top two of the Pro league while doing that I would be satisfied” Jeffrey said.
Rounding out the top five is Ross Russell and his Ma Pau Stars who are fourteen points away from poll position. They will be confident in their hope of remedying that when they face third from bottom St. Ann’s Rangers in the opening game of Match Day Four, Round Two at the Barataria Recreation ground from 5:00pm.
The Sangre Grande squad has blown hot and cold this season with Russell taking the mixture of youth and experience to a next level. The form of 38 year old captain Carlos Edwards has been a definite plus for Ma Pau as well as the player who has been recalled to lead the national team due to his outstanding Pro League play.
The goalkeeping of Glenroy Samuel has also caught the eye of the national selectors and this will be a key factor if the Stars are to make a run for at least a champions league place. That will be the goal of most teams despite their voicing of league glory ambitions because under the regional spotlight is where they all want to reach.