Fri, May

Central FC captain Densill Theobald, centre, lifts the First Citizens Cup trophy as teammates celebrate around him after Friday's final vs Defence Force at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

CENTRAL FC goalkeeper Marvin Phillip said Friday’s victory in the First Citizens Cup could not have been possible without the inspirational leadership of their captain Densill Theobald.

The club has been navigating through difficult times due to the economic downturn which has seen a mass exodus of players in the last couple years. Phillip praised captain Densill Theobald, who missed the final through injury, for lifting the spirits of players who have stuck around.

“I got to thank Densill, the skipper, for holding the team,” Phillip noted. “(Myself) as well, but not as much as Densill. He says once we come onto the training pitch, once we decide to cross that white line, put everything besides us. Once we get back behind the white line, whatever problems we face we’ll have to deal with it.”

Central FC defeated Defence Force 4-2 courtesy kicks from the penalty spot, after a 2-2 scoreline at the end of regulation and extra time, to secure the First Citizens Cup title, in a tense final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

Keron Cummings scored twice for Central FC on Frday in the 42nd and 83rd minutes. Dylon King (64th) and Devorn Jorsling (65th) replied for Defence Force.

Looking back at Friday’s match, Phillip said, “We lapsed for a couple minutes and that’s when we conceded two goals. We buckled down as a team and said ‘we’ve got to fight till the end’. We kept on fighting and we got the equaliser. We stepped up in the penalties which we were confident in.”

He is hopeful that this result can boost the team, ahead of the 2018 Pro League season which kicks off in August.

“I want this to be a stepping stone for the club. We want to continue our hard work and try our best to win the league title,” Phillip said.

Phillip said their cup victory compensated for the team’s poor showing at the Caribbean Club Championships final stage two months ago in Jamaica.

At the Caribbean Club Championships, Central FC were beaten in all three matches – 2-0 to Arnett Gardens in the semi-final, 2-1 to another Jamaican team Portmore United in the third-place match and, 2-1 to Martinique club Club Franciscain in a play-off.

Phillip, who rejoined Central FC after a stint with fellow Pro League team Point Fortin Civic, said, “It’s a great feeling for a player to win any title.

“We, as a team, had buckled down after a horrendous trip to Jamaica. We had disappointed ourselves (and) our nation. So, we said, we definitely need to rebound.”

Phillip added, “We (were) working hard to come out and win this tournament. All the hard work paid off.”

The 33-year-old has featured with various Pro League teams, including Starworld Strikers, North East Stars, W Connection, Joe Public, TTEC and Morvant Caledonia United. He is back at the club where he spent the 2012-2013 season.