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Tue, Jul

Central FC Nathaniel Garcia burst pass to Rangers defenders.
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Dillon and Garcia heads to Europe.

Central F.C. has announced that midfielder, Nathaniel Garcia and teenage striker Nicholas Dillon will both depart for extensive trials at Belgian 2nd Division club, K.Patro Maasmechelen.

The Belgian club have been watching the performances of both players for several months and were hoping to host the two T&T internationals in December.

Central F.C. Managing Director, Brent Sancho said: “The original plan was to send the guys in December so that they could register as soon as the international transfer window opened in January. However, Dillon was injured on U-20 duty and we had to rehabilitate him ourselves and couldn't guarantee his fitness before Christmas, so we decided it would be prudent to wait until now.

Coaches Dale Saunders and Stern John have worked hard to prepare these boys and I'm confident that they will succeed. Both players would appeal to British clubs with their style of play. Spanish has grown from a fast attacking midfielder to an accomplished ball winner similar to England's Nicky Butt, while Dillon reminds me of former EPL striker, Ade Akinbiyi.”

19 year old Dillon, a big, fast, powerful striker is in his 5th season with Central, while 23 year old Garcia, a bustling defensive midfielder known as “Spanish”, joined the club four years ago after returning from college in USA.

“Maasmechelen were disapointed to learn that Garcia was not selected for the four recent national team games and I had a difficult time explaining the logic behind their countyman's decision, especially as foreign players joined the national team camp many days later. But I think we avoided bringing embarrassment on our country by pointing out that this was not a Trini decision,but a Belgian one!”

Both players will spend up to three weeks with the Belgian club, including playing in a friendly game in England against Sancho's old club, Gillingham.

“The intentions of K. Patro Eisden Maasmechelen are to put these boys in the European shop window. The club has many links to other European clubs and we are hoping that we can build a route to Europe for Caribbean players. We have been in talks with the clubs owners for many months now and I'm hoping that we can break the recent trend of players moving to the far east, which makes them virtually inaccessible to our national teams.” said Sancho.

Sancho added that while Central F.C. are keen to secure a third successive Pro League and Caribbean Club Championship title, the last year has been spent developing partnerships that will enable the club to develop an elite academy system that will nurture young players from the age of 11 and offer a clear route to the European leagues.

“Central F.C. are the only source of pride for Trinidad & Tobago football at this point of time, carrying the T&T brand across the football world. While we still don't receive the recognition that the club deserves in this country, it is pleasing that our brand is recognised and respected overseas.”

Both players may be on display on Saturday at Larry Gomes, when Central face Ma Pau Stars at 3.30pm.