Reigning Caribbean champions, Central FC, and last season’s runners-up, W Connection, will attempt to top the region for a second consecutive time when they contest the final round of the Caribbean Club Championship 2016 from April 29 to May 1 at the Stade Sylvio Cator in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Both semi-final round winners will secure berths at next season’s Concacaf Champions League 2016/17 while advancing to Sunday’s Caribbean Club Championship final from 7pm.
Meanwhile the defeated semi-finals must contest the third-place play-off on Sunday from 4:30pm to secure the third and final Caribbean berth at next season’s Concacaf Champions League.
Last season the “Couva Sharks”, during their debut run at the tournament, defeated Don Bosco 3-1 on penalties following a goalless draw before edging Trinidadian rivals W Connection 2-1 in the final under former coach Terry Fenwick.
Central are now hoping to replicate their Caribbean success while Connection, outright Caribbean champions in 2006 and 2009, and joint winners in 2001, 2002 and 2013 after no final rounds were contested following group play, are hoping to add the Caribbean 2016 crown to their success this season which already includes the domestic First Citizens Cup and Toyota Classic titles.
Connection, inclusive of a 20-man squad (see below), and Central, inclusive of an 18-man squad, departed Trinidad on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, and will base at the Ibo Lele Hotel and Royal Oasis Hotel, respectively, in Port-au-Prince.
The Stuart Charles-Fevrier coached-Connection, also four-time Caribbean runners-up, enjoyed wins over Dominican Republic side Atlantico FC (4-2), Guadeloupe’s Club Sportif Moulien (5-1) and Suriname’s Inter Moengo Tapoe (3-1) when they hosted the Caribbean Club Championship 2016 Group 1 in Trinidad in February.
Central, now coached by former assistant coach Dale Saunders who is assisted by ex-Trinidad and Tobago internationals and 2006 World Cup members Stern John and Brent Sancho, who is also the club’s managing director, were also perfect in topping Group 3 contested in Jamaica in March with wins over Cayman Islands side Scholars International (6-0) and hosts Montego Bay United (1-0).
Don Bosco FC, hosted Group 2 in Haiti, and comfortably topped their group with wins over Bermuda side Somerset CC (5-0) and Guadeloupe’s La Gauloise de Basse-Terre (3-1), while Arnett Gardens topped Group 4 in Dominican Republic by defeating Haiti’s America FC (3-0), Suriname’s SV Notch (8-4) and host team Club Atletico Pantoja (1-0).
Caribbean Club Championship 2016 Final Round
Stade Sylvio Cator, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
W Connection (T&T) vs Arnett Gardens (Jamaica)—4:30pm
Don Bosco FC (Haiti) vs Central FC (T&T)—7pm
Central FC 18-man squad
Goalkeepers: Akel Clarke and Javon Sample;
Defenders: Jamal Jack, Andre Ettienne, Kevon Villaroel, Elton John, Kaydion Gabriel, Elijah Manners and Keion Goodridge;
Midfielders: Leston Paul, Jason Marcano, Sean De Silva, Darren Mitchell and Nathaniel Garcia;
Forwards: Marcus Joseph, Nicholas Dillon, Ricardo John and Kadeem Corbin.
Staff: Dale Saunders (head coach), Stern John (assistant coach), Brent Sancho (managing director/assistant coach), David Moses (equipment manager) and Jodi Simpson (physiotherapist).
W Connection 20-man squad
Goalkeepers: Julani Archibald, Terrence Lewis and Aquelius Sylvester;
Defenders: Kurt Frederick, Maurice Ford, Alvin Jones, Daniel Cyrus and Jelani Peters;
Midfielders: Jomal Williams, Hughtun Hector, Andre Toussaint, Gerard Williams, Briel Thomas, Neil Benjamin Jr, Jabari Mitchell, Isaiah Garcia and Anfernee Frederick;
Forwards: Shahdon Winchester, Jamal Charles and Malik St. Prix.
Staff: Stuart Charles-Fevrier (technical director/head coach), Earl Jean (assistant coach), Eligah Joseph (assistant coach), Chandeo Boodoosingh (physiotherapist) and John Jerry (equipment manager).