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Sancho: Central FC excited over three-peat prospect.
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BRENT SANCHO, owner and managing director of Digicel Pro League table-toppers Central FC, has acknowledged that the squad, as well as the technical staff, are excited over the prospect of completing a historic three-peat on Sunday.

Central FC lead the 10-team standings with 44 points from 17 games, one more than W Connection, with the final round of matches taking place this weekend.

Simultaneously on Sunday, at 3.30 pm, Central FC will face third-placed San Juan Jabloteh (29 points) at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva while, at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, Connection will square off against fourth-placed Ma Pau Stars (28 points).

And Central FC, who were formed in 2012, will be hoping results go their way on Sunday to become the first club to earn a hat-trick of Pro League crowns.

“I think everybody is quite excited about the possibility of creating history,” said Sancho, in a telephone interview yesterday.

“I think, on top of that, you look at a bunch of guys that have been together for some time and have achieved well in the sport and now looking at a possible one game of creating history and leaving a legacy behind.

“They’re all excited. That is what you dream about as a footballer, to play in big games that mean a lot, and to get a result from it. It’s a lot of excitement within the camp.” With Central in existence for a few years, and on the cusp of history concerning a hat-trick of titles, is the management team tense or are they taking things in stride? “We’ve always been a trendsetting club,” Sancho responded.

“The club was built on the pillars of belief that we wanted to change the way that professional sport, in particular football, was viewed in the country. We wanted to do things differently.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have the right staff and the right personnel that have been part and parcel of building the fabric at Central FC, from the inception till now. We’ve been very consistent in our approach, as it relates to the sport.

“Despite the fact that we’ve had our challenges throughout, we’ve always maintained our focus,” added the former Trinidad and Tobago defender. “That’s one thing about the club, we’ve maintained a level of focus throughout.

We’ve been able to continue to build, not just here locally but overseas as well, to make sure we have a brand and have an international appeal as well.” Another former TT player, Dale Saunders, took over from Ross Russell midway into the 2015-2016 season and guided the team to the title that year.

Now, the ex-midfielder has earn the admiration of Sancho for his results this season - Central have won 14 games and lost only once in the League.

“One thing about Dale Saunders (is) he’s very unassuming,” Sancho said. “When you look at what he’s been able to achieve in the local game, not just here at Central but before when he was at Joe Public, he was part of a winning structure there. This is a very talented coach who I think of belief that we wanted to change the way that professional sport, in particular football, was viewed in the country. We wanted to do things differently.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have the right staff and the right personnel that have been part and parcel of building the fabric at Central FC, from the inception till now. We’ve been very consistent in our approach, as it relates to the sport.

“Despite the fact that we’ve had our challenges throughout, we’ve always maintained our focus,” added the former Trinidad and Tobago defender. “That’s one thing about the club, we’ve maintained a level of focus throughout.

We’ve been able to continue to build, not just here locally but overseas as well, to make sure we have a brand and have an international appeal as well.” Another former TT player, Dale Saunders, took over from Ross Russell midway into the 2015-2016 season and guided the team to the title that year.

Now, the ex-midfielder has earn the admiration of Sancho for his results this season - Central have won 14 games and lost only once in the League.

“One thing about Dale Saunders (is) he’s very unassuming,” Sancho said. “When you look at what he’s been able to achieve in the local game, not just here at Central but before when he was at Joe Public, he was part of a winning structure there. This is a very talented coach who I think.

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Pro League crowning on Sunday; Central and Connection ready to flex muscles on D-day.
ttproleague.com.


Leaders Central FC are three points away from successfully completing a historic three-peat in the Digicel Pro League.

But with Couva rivals W Connection hot on their heels – one point behind in second – and both sides facing the next best teams on the deciding day, Sunday, the league crown can go either way in the two-team race.

Central (44 points), champions of 2014-15 and 2015-16, must face third positioned San Juan Jabloteh in their final league game on Sunday from 3:30pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Simultaneously at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, Connection (43 points) will host fourth-positioned Ma Pau Stars.

Connection are on a seven-game winning streak since losing 2-1 to Central on December 12, while the Couva Sharks are on a four-game winning run and are coming off last week’s 6-0 win over St. Ann’s Rangers.

However, their opponents Jabloteh (29 points) and Ma Pau (28 points) are also in a two-team battle of their own for a respectable third-place finish this season.

Jabloteh, last season's runners-up also preparing for upcoming CONCACAF Champions League qualifiers in March in the Caribbean Club Championship, are coming off last week’s 1-0 loss against Connection. It was the second loss for the San Juan Kings in the January month that included three wins.

Ma Pau, meanwhile, are undefeated in their last four outings with three wins, inclusive of full points against two-time reigning Caribbean champions Central, and one draw.

“At Central FC winning is a part of us,” said Central FC head coach Dale Saunders on Wednesday during the launch and seeded draw of this season’s Digicel Pro Bowl knockout tournament.

Saunders said the work of the full Couva Sharks coaching staff—that includes the support of 2006 Trinidad and Tobago World Cup players Stern John and Brent Sancho—has been fantastic.

John serves as Technical Coach, while Sancho, the club’s Managing Director, is also known to put his knowledge of the game on the training pitch, as both ex-Trinidad and Tobago internationals had extensive careers on two continents.

“We are on the verge of winning a three-peat [in the League],” added Saunders. “…and we will try to go all the way.”

Earlier this month Stuart Charles-Fevrier, head coach of five-time league winners (2000, 2001, 2005, 2011-12 & 2013-14) W Connection, said, “We want to win the league [this season] like everyone else. We have definitely improved in our results and I hope we can keep the consistency for the rest of the season. [But] we only have control over our games. So we must remain focused.”

Fevrier was honoured on Wednesday with The Fan Club Coach of the Month reward for January. His team’s one hundred percent win record blew off all competition.

Saunders, who led Central to season’s Digicel Charity Shield winners and Rawle Fletcher (DPL Round One) trophy, received The Fan Club Coach of the Month for October with his team’s performances during the period setting the tone for the Couva Sharks title defence.

While Marvin Gordon won back-to-back The Fan Club Coach of the Month for November and December. The Defence Force head coach beat off all competition during the two months which included his side lifting the First Citizens Cup.

Gordon and his Defence Force side will travel to Mahaica Oval on Saturday against hosts Point Fortin Civic from 5pm in their final league game. But the weekend’s final day league fixtures rolls off on Friday with a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium when Club Sando take on Rangers from 6pm and two hours later Morvant Caledonia United face Police.

Upcoming Fixtures.

(Friday 3 February 2017)

Ato Boldon Stadium
Club Sando vs St. Ann’s Rangers—6pm
Morvant Caledonia United vs Police FC—8pm

(Saturday 4 February 2017)

Mahaica Oval
Point Fortin Civic vs Defence Force—5pm

(Sunday 5 February 2017)

Ato Boldon Stadium
Central FC vs San Juan Jabloteh—3:30pm

Manny Ramjohn Stadium
W Connection vs Ma Pau Stars—3:30pm