Category: Ma Pau Stars F.C

Couva Sharks must seek more than just a win against N/E Stars with title slipping away

Flashback: Central FC players and staff celebrate the Couva Sharks third consecutive Pro League crowning at the Ato Boldon Stadium on February 5, 2017.

The title defence of three-time reigning Pro League champions Central FC is slipping, and fast with eight regular league games left in the 2017 campaign.

Central, last season’s historic Pro League three-peat champions, must seek a win and more so a boost in confidence when they host leaders North East Stars from 8pm on Friday in the second game of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

North East Stars (21 points) look down on Central (10 points and a game in hand) from five spots away, while mid-table San Juan Jabloteh (14 points and two games in hand) and Defence Force (12 points) face each other from 6pm in the opening game at the Couva venue on Friday.

W Connection (20 points), who Central narrowly escaped by a point for the crown last season, are within striking distance of the top spot and welcomes Point Fortin Civic (9 points) from 4pm at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, simultaneously at the Hasely Crawford Stadium Morvant Caledonia United (7 points) are against Police FC (10 points).

But for now, all attention will be on Central, the high rollers of the last three seasons, and North East Stars, a side in search of their first league crown since 2004.

Central held the Derek King coached-North East Stars to a 1-1 draw in their first and only meeting this season in a much anticipated rescheduled Round One match on September 9 at the Arima Velodrome with legendary Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John debuting as head coach.

League and Caribbean Club Championship-winning coach Dale Saunders had departed Central at the beginning of the month due to unpaid salaries, as clubs continue to “struggle without Government’s assistance” according to the Central’s operations manager Kevin Harrison back then.

Saunders’ decision was one of the latest among an exodus of staff and players—the latter now amongst a dozen ex-Couva Sharks that represent North East Stars.

However since holding the Stars to a draw the Couva Sharks have lost three games in a row, counting their 2-0 exit from the FA Trophy first round (Round-of-64) on Saturday and Tuesday’s 2-0 league defeat against bitter Couva rivals W Connection.

Furthermore Central have not posted a win in their last nine games in all competitions—six of them ending in losses—since defeating Defence Force 4-0 on June 30.

Meanwhile North East Stars are undefeated in their last four games in all competitions with the last two ending in wins—most recently Tuesday’s 2-0 win over third-placed Club Sando.

This weekend’s Pro League fixtures will culminate on Sunday with Sando (17 points), eager to rebound from their weekday loss, visiting cellar-placed MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers (7 points) from 4pm at St. Augustine Senior Secondary School Ground.

Trinidad and Tobago Pro League 2017
Upcoming Round Two Match Day Two fixtures
(Friday 22 September 2017)
Defence Force vs San Juan Jabloteh, 6pm, at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Central FC vs North East Stars, 8pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;

(Saturday 23 September 2017)
W Connection vs Point Fortin Civic, 4pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

Morvant Caledonia United vs Police FC, 4pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

(Sunday 24 September 2017)
MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers vs Club Sando, 4pm, St. Augustine Senior Secondary School Ground.


Current Pro League 2017 standings

#

Team

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

 

1

North East Stars

10

6

3

1

15

9

6

21

 

2

W Connection

10

6

2

2

20

12

8

20

 

3

Club Sando

10

5

2

3

15

11

4

17

 

4

San Juan Jabloteh

8

4

2

2

9

7

2

14

 

5

Defence Force

10

3

3

4

12

14

-2

12

 

6

Central FC

9

2

4

3

11

8

3

10

 

7

Police FC

9

2

4

3

10

12

-2

10

 

8

Point Fortin Civic

9

2

3

4

6

12

-6

9

 

9

Morvant Caledonia

9

1

4

4

4

7

-3

7

 

10

St. Ann’s Rangers

10

2

1

7

8

18

-10

7