Bitter town rivals, W Connection and Central FC, will kick off the 2014-2015 TT Pro League season on September 20 when the pair contest the curtain-raising Digicel Charity Shield.
Connection, the two-time defending Charity Shield winners, are into the 2014 edition by virtue of winning last season’s Digicel Pro League, while Central FC will have their first shot at the Charity Shield by way of finishing runners-up in the League last season.
“Personally it doesn’t matter whatever opponent we meet,” said Connection head coach Stuart Charles Fevrier, who last season led his team to five titles—the Charity Shield, Pro League, Toyota Classic, FA Trophy and Pro Bowl. “We just have to prepare ourselves for any eventuality, whether it is Central or any other team,” Fevrier added.
Fevrier, however, explained that his preparation for the new season is hampered, due to a number of his players having to be away on international duty. The Connection coach explained that his sessions became “thin” at times, with around five or six of his players expected to go into camp next week with the T&T Under 20 team, while St Kitts/Nevis internationals Gerard Williams, goalkeeper Julani Archibald and Devaughn Elliott, and St Lucia internationals Kurt Federick and Tremain Shayn Paul will join their respective national teams for upcoming Gold Cup qualifiers.
Central FC and W Connection were evenly split in seven meetings last season, both teams winning three, while one ended in a stalemate.
Central will kick off the season under a new coach, Serbian Zoran Vranes, who was appointed following the departure of Englishman Terry Fenwick to Belgium. Vranes has had success at international and club level.
“I’m looking forward to a good start,” said Vraneš, a former T&T men’s senior team assistant-coach, and former coach of the T&T Under 23 and Under 20 teams. “I know that they (W Connection) are always very serious opponents. I know their coach is very good and enthusiastic about the game, and that’s the way it should be, “ Vranes said. But we are a very competitive team also. If everything goes my way in the way we play, I expect a very close and competitive game, and with some luck a good result. “They (W Connection) will come to defend their title but for us it’s about getting a good start to the season. We are performing well in practice and although we almost have a very new team, I am very pleased with the way the guys have responded to my training,” ended the Central FC coach.