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THE VOL.5 The official Central FC monthly magazine

APRIL 16, 2014

Psychology in Sports Monthly Review:

60 games +90 mins...



Photograph by


Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today. (Autistic Society of T&T) For more information on Autism check the Autistic Society of T&T at or email



FC @CentralFCTT




EDITOR Amiel Mohammed DESIGN EDITOR maya wilkinson

Photography KIT ISRAEL PHOTOGRAPHY Scott Heavey/Getty Images WRITERS Amiel Mohammed TimothĂŠe Maloney Inshan Mohammed


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Sharks Sign Shaka Youth Team Outlook Monthly Review Supporters Club Youth Team Report Shark Tales Shark Fin Scoop Psychology in Sports Youth Team Quotes Stats Central English Flavour Chills Central FC

Photograph by 4


Former ‘Soca Warrior’ Signs As Sharks Fan


eil Shaka Hislop is a name renowned in the football industry for all the right reasons. He was a key figure in Trinidad and Tobago’s debut at the Fifa World Cup 2006. The “Soca Warrior” produced save after save to deny a Sweden side boasting the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larsson, to earn the small twin-island republic a memorable draw. His performance in the next match versus England saw him earn further rave reviews but the English men would not be denied and eventually prevailed 2-0. Trinidad and Tobago is the smallest country to have ever qualified for a Fifa World Cup and though Shaka’s contribution to that cannot be understated, he has arguably flown the red, white and black flag higher after his playing career. Upon retiring, the former Reading, Newcastle, Portsmouth and West Ham goal keeper, has entertained a burgeoning career as a football analyst and commentator on ESPN. He regularly appears on ESPN FC and continues to be a shining example of professionalism to all Caribbean citizens. Central Media (CM) was able to catch up with Shaka recently to discuss a few topics:

CM: Do you think that the level of local football is improving? Shaka: Absolutely. I’ve always felt that the TT Pro League was needed in order to advance the professionalism within the local game. Players having to be at their best, day in day out, with all that entails, to earn their livelihoods, could only benefit our football. There has been, in my opinion, a real need for good governance and administration within the sport as well. The number of clubs, and their respective management structures, also advances a key element to long-term, continued, and consistent football development. CM: Central FC is a new team but it making big waves in local football, any comments? Shaka: It has been great to watch, albeit from afar, Central FC’s evolution. I’ve been following them closer than most other clubs in the league given my close friendship with club CEO, Brent Sancho. Brent showed his understanding of the role a club should play in their local community, and how all would benefit from such undertakings, while at North East Stars. He has taken that model and advanced on it, to very good effect. 4

“I’m excited by the work Brent has done.”

As much as the communities have benefitted from having the football club as part of their landscape, Central FC, in my opinion, has been rewarded even further by the community’s involvement with the club. CM: Brent Sancho is a good friend of yours, what are your comments on his work and vision for Central FC? Shaka: I’m excited by the work Brent has done, and his own growth as a football administrator. I’ve long believed that footballers were well equipped to be further involved in the game, but simply weren’t given the opportunities. Brent has proven my theory right, and in the process, hopefully, has, or will, open the door for more ex-players to be involved in key decision making roles, and the growth of the sport. CM: What’s your take on Central’s policy to be primarily Trinbagonian and work to bring talent back home? Shaka: I’m all for it. No one can argue that we continue to develop a lot of talented players, well above what you’d reasonably expect from a country our size. At times players have maybe left our shores in pursuit of advancing their careers too early in their own development. As understandable as that may be, it doesn’t always work out. It’s good to know that local players have the option to come back home, work with a club that is run in a manner that they had become used to, and provide an opportunity, in their home environment, ply their trade, and further develop their talent. If a second chance of football at a higher level comes along they’d be better prepared, if not they can feel fully satisfied in what they are doing at Central, and in the Pro League. Ultimately T&T football will be the greatest beneficiary from such a policy. CM: You requested a Jan Michael Williams replica jersey, is this an indication that you are a fan of his or more so a sign of your much publicized appreciation for fellow goalkeepers? Shaka: I’ve been a huge Jan Michael Williams fan ever since I saw him in the Gold Cup in 2007. He’s a wonderful talent. CM: If yes to being a fan of Jan, are there any other players that you admire from Central FC? Shaka: My former teammate, Hector Sam, who recently left (Central FC) and Ataullah Guerra. CM: Do you think that there are more opportunities for employment in the global football industry for Trinbagonians, calling from your experience as being employed at ESPN? Shaka: Absolutely. There is a lot that goes in to a sports broadcast. Though the opportunities to be on-air are very limited, the unique experiences of being from a small country like our own, and the challenges that that brings will serve any company well in the long term. Especially now, at a time when businesses, throughout all industries, are realizing the benefits of diversity in the workplace. 5



believe Mr Sancho’s vision of a program focusing on youth, is a wonderful one and I have seen a great improvement in the mental part of the game, as our players are beginning to THINK, PLAY AND MOVE.

We have also been working on team togetherness and total respect for all players regardless of skill level, and it has been accepted by all, even our staff.  I am very happy with the progress and looking forward for the continued growth our program at Central FC.” – George Romano

Director of Women’s Football and Youth Development


P h ot O c ou r t e s y o f www . ttp r ol e a g u e . c o m

16 games + 90 mins...


that’s the only phrase on the minds of Shark staff and supporters. The club put together an almost unrelenting run of form in 2014 that all came crashing down against a defiant North East Stars team on April 15th. Confidence was high within the Central FC camp, and rightly so. The club went 16 games unbeaten. Such form put us back in dim contention for the league title and had local media trumpeting the strength of the team. But in just 90 minutes of action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, our dim hopes became all that more bleaker as a lethal first half Trevin Caesar brace poured cold water on our dreams. The team rallied in the second half and had a penalty converted by Ataullah Guerra but it wasn’t enough in the end. 2-1 was the score line. Going back to March though, it was a month filled with emotion and excitement for the Sharks. Just a few days after the tragic loss of their vice captain, Kevon Carter, Defence Force put a scare into Central FC. Devon Jorsling showed typical emphatic finishing to give the “Army Men” a 2-0 lead at half time. The second half was all Central FC though. Darren Mitchell scored one and set up another to draw level. Then with virtually the last kick of the game, Ataullah Guerra blasted a shot into the corner to send the Sharks fans into raptures.





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At the end of March, we faced an eager Point Fortin Civic FC team. Marcus Joseph was in superb form and forced Jan Michael Williams into one of the saves of the season. Joseph unleashed a 30 yard rocket that seemed destined for the top corner, but at the very last moment Williams got his fingertips to deny the possible goal of the season contender. Within a flash, Central responded and took a 2-0 lead. Jamal Jack scored the first and Rundell Winchester the second. It was Winchester’s first league goal since the October encounter between these two teams. He ran onto a clever lobbed through ball by De Silva and poked it into the net to end his goal drought. Enter the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield. Exit Caledonia AIA. We faced the “Eastern Stallions” in the quarter final round and emphatically dumped them out of the knockout cup. Two goals from Plaza and one each from former Caledonia players, Guerra and Oliver, put us firmly into the semi finals. Plaza didn’t seem to be satisfied there.

P h ot O c ou r t e s y o f www . ttp r ol e a g u e . c o m

The emotion of that win sent confidence coursing through the team and they certainly showed it against league leaders W Connection. In an intense first half, we raced to a 3-0 lead. Captain Oliver curled in a brilliant free kick that left goalkeeper Archibald without a chance. W Connection were shell shocked. In a 9 minute blitz thereafter, Guerra and Plaza added their names to the score sheet. But what is a Couva derby without controversy? Referee Harris, who has a penchant for controversial decisions, dismissed Guerra just before the interval to give W Connection a glimmer of hope. However we remained solid for the rest of the match and proved that we have come a long way since our formation less than two years ago.

“Football is a funny, old game though, so we will fight until the very end. We are Central FC and we are here to stay.” 7


Days later, against the same opponent, in the league, he bagged his second hat trick for the club. The Sharks ran out 5-1 on the night but the score line belied a scrappy performance. The quality of Plaza’s finishing was the difference between the two sides. It took him a few games to get up to full speed but no one can question the impact Plaza has had on our season. Great signing! At this stage of the season, the matches are coming thick and fast. Head coach Fenwick decided to show the strength of our squad by making four changes to the team that beat Caledonia AIA. The changes paid dividends. Dwight Quintero, making a surprising start, scored the opening goal against North East Stars in the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield semi final. North East Stars were no pushovers and pressed for an equalizer. Cross after cross bombarded the Central FC box. It is in these moments that big players with big characters show their worth. Jan Michael Williams is a big player. He produced a fantastic finger tip save to push a Keron Cummings free kick against the post. The rebound fell to Caesar but he hammered his shot against the crossbar. The Sharks were spared. Then, as we have done all season, we produced a goal on the counter. Winchester raced forward, rounded goalkeeper John and effectively killed off the tie. He had put us into our third cup finals of the season. Four days later, the Sangre Grande based outfit got their revenge. In doing so, it takes our chances for a top two finish further out of our hands. Football is a funny, old game though, so we will fight until the very end. We are Central FC and we are here to stay. 12



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The Under 14 team has struggled immensely. They have conceded 21 goals in 5 matches and only have a solitary Maurice Moses goal to their name. It may be a long road ahead but it’s all about development for the future. The Under 16 team has had mixed results. They began the season poorly to Caledonia AIA, suffering a 3-0 defeat. This was followed up with a slender win versus Defence Force. Kerwin Mitchell was the goal scorer. We were not so lucky in the next two encounters. We lost 3-0 to Point Fortin Civic FC at Mahaica Oval and were edged out 2-1 to Police FC with Derron John scoring our lone item. Finally, the match versus North East Stars ended scoreless. We are sitting comfortably in mid table with our eyes firmly fixed on moving up. The Under 18/Reserve team has also had mixed results thus far and their record stands at 2 Wins, 1 Draw and 2 Losses. We lost to an organized Caledonia AIA outfit and a Point Fortin Civic side playing at home. Our victories came against Defence Force and Police FC with a draw versus North East Stars. These results were in no small part to the goal scoring exploits of David Maloney. He currently has 3 goals to his name and has been instrumental. Nicholas Dillon has also performed extremely well, bagging 2 goals so far. When Dillon recovers from injury, we can certainly expect to see him add to that tally. Kareem Garcia and Reece Maida have also chipped in with a goal each. Signs are looking good for this team.



he Youth Teams have not been fearing too well in their league encounters. Director of Women’s Football and Youth Development George Romano stated, “when I arrived, I was shocked and surprised with the discipline level. However we have been working extremely hard on getting the discipline factor together. It has been progressing nicely. We have also been working on some technical and tactical ability …to be able to play better collectively as a team. In our first game we were playing individual football. Now at the youth levels, especially at the Reserves and U16s , we are playing quite collectively as a team. The concept is beginning to soak in so I am extremely happy with my progress so far.“






y first loss as a Shark came at a very crucial time in the league. The game against North East Stars was a momentary lapse in the team’s concentration for the first 15-20 minutes. We got a slap to the face in that game, but the league is still not over yet. We have 3 more league games to do out jobs to finish at our highest position possible and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Yohance Marshall


Revolution has begun... Are you ready?


Shark: What is your favourite team? YM: My favourite professional team is Real Madrid while my favourite International team is Brazil. Shark: Which player do you model your style after? YM: When I was younger, the player I looked at to model myself was el phenomeno Ronaldo, R9. But as a Centre back it was Desailly, Lucio and Julius James. Julius and I are still good friends and speak ever so often. Shark: What is your favourite food? YM: I love to eat and love flavours. So to say I have just one favourite food will be tough, but for the purpose of this question I’d say callaloo. Shark: What is your personal ambition? YM: Personally, it is to always improve, learn and to study the help and pass the knowledge on that I have already learnt to the younger. Career wise, I would like to improve every team that I play with to achieve maximum success. Shark: What is your ambition for Central FC? YM: In terms of Central FC, I would like for us to win every possible title available to us. Shark: Who is your closest friend in football? Yohance: Abiola Sandy, Clevon George, Julius James and Kendell Jagdeosingh.





Shark: Who is your favourite athlete outside of football? YM: That might probably be Serena Williams because of where they started from...the struggles her and her sister had and her power and focus while playing. Shark: What is your favourite past time? YM: Being around family and friends. I was away from them for two years and it was a tough period for me. Shark: What is your favourite cartoon character? YM: Goku from Dragonball Z. Shark: What is your prediction for the 2014 World Cup? YM: Well in one of my earlier answers I said that Brazil was my favourite international team so it’s only logical that I back my team at home. Shark: What is your most memorable game played? YM: Well I have a few. For LA Galaxy versus Barcelona in 2009 at the Rose Bowl in front of 93,000 people. debut for the T&T National team versus Jamaica in Jamaica in 2010 and when I was captain of the big east champions in 2009 for the University of South Florida. Oh I can’t forget the MLS Cup Final in 2009 versus Real Salt Lake. 22

Name: Yohance Marshall Position: Defender Age: 28 Hometown: Diego Martin



& JOHN k fin



Shark: What is your favourite team? EJ: Barcelona. Shark: Who is the player do you model your style after? EJ: My favourite player is Ronaldinho because I was always a midfielder but if I have to choose because of the position I am playing now, it would be Thiago Silva. Shark: What is your favourite food? EJ: Crab and dumplings. Shark: What is your personal ambition? EJ: To play at the highest level of the game and represent my country to the best I could. Shark: What is your ambition for Central FC? EJ: To play a big part in winning titles and to help the club in being a force in the football industry. Shark: Who is your closest friend in football? EJ: Devon Jameson (Jamo). Shark: Who is your favourite athlete outside of football? EJ: Lebron James. Shark: What is your favourite past time? EJ: Spending time with family, especially my wife and daughter. Shark: What is your favourite cartoon character? EJ: Tom and Jerry...classic. Shark: What is your prediction for the 2014 World Cup? EJ: Brazil will win this World Cup. I think they have a great squad and the 12th man, which are the fans, is going to play a massive part. It will be hard beating them at home. Shark: What is your most memorable game played? EJ: The 2006 East Zone Intercol Final with St. Augustine against San Juan Secondary. I scored the only goal of the game in superb style. It was classic.

Name: Elton John Position: Defender Age: 27 Hometown: Sherwood Park, Arima a.k.a. the Congo

k r a h n 23

“Success is not achieved solely with physical ability and skill but also with the provision of psychological training.�


Sports in

Part 1: The Torres Syndrome



Image Courtesy of Scott Heavey/Getty Images


n the big ticket match where Chelsea mauled Arsenal 6-0 and the gunners play with ten men for seventy-five minutes, one would expect to see star striker Fernando Torres on the scoring list. Torres was not in the starting eleven but entered the game in the tenth minute to replace injured Samuel Eto’o. After seven minutes Chelsea were two goals in the lead. Their tally extended to three goals after seventeen minutes. Arsenal were like the sacrificial lamb in hope of an end to the torture. The stage was perfect for Torres to shine and retain some glory, at least with a goal, but we got a dismal performance; something we have grown accustomed to over the last couple years. Now thirty years old, Torres can say he has had a successful career playing for his country, Spain and top-class clubs, Athletico Madrid, Liverpool and now Chelsea. But there is no doubt that Torres’ dip in form has occurred a bit prematurely. His move from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011 cost fifty million pounds, becoming


the fourth most expensive player of all time. This price tag however, was not reflected in his performances. His lack of goals and the presence of a fit Didier Drogba meant Torres had to settle for a substitute’s role. Currently, with Samuel Eto’o being employed at Chelsea, Torres continues to spend time on the bench. How can a player be relegated from such heights to inexplicable levels of mediocrity? It is easy for us to sit in the comfort of our living rooms every week and provide diagnoses on Torres’ performance. When he gets an opportunity on the field we see effort and courage. His confidence on the ball however, appears to have eluded him. Simple fundamentals like ball control and shot accuracy seem challenging at times, for a player who won the World Cup and the Euro Cup. In the English Premier League so far this season Torres only scored four goals in twenty-three appearances. There must be more to this debacle than our eyes can see.

In Spain’s triumph at the 2012 European Championship coach Vicente Del Bosque tactically adopted a 4-6-0 formation, practically leaving his strikers on the bench. This would have made a dent in Torres’ confidence while he also had to play second best to Drogba at Chelsea. Apart from confidence, there may be other psychological activity on-going that we would not be privy to. One’s inability to adapt to change can have a negative effect on performance. Torres had to acclimatize to moving from his boyhood club in Spain to Liverpool and then London in England. Not every professional can endure such geographical transfers. Torres is not alone in the struggle. Other headline transfers that have not lived up to the hype include Alex Song, Roberto Soldado and Edin Dzeko. These athletes have all established themselves as top class players with previous clubs, but spend more time on the bench now with their new clubs.

A greater appreciation of confidence can be achieved when we understand that it is not an emotion but a belief. Instead of hoping for confidence on match day, one can take ownership of it. Other mental challenges can be addressed with the guidance of a psychologist. A player like Mario Balotelli, who has endured many troubles on and off the field, continues to show behavioral improvement following the intervention of a psychologist. So there is hope for the faint-minded. As a nation we are slowly grasping the concept that mental preparation is just as important as the physical readiness for competition. With a more advanced and holistic approach to athletic development we can expect to see more representation of local athletes on other continents of the globe.

-Timothée Maloney

Some equality can be found with Torres and some of our local players. Patiently we await the next Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy. Our ears twitch to hear a Soca Warrior’s name being called in the squad of Manchester United, Barcelona or Inter Milan. Lately our hopes have been in Kenwyne Jones but his movement to different clubs denies him a permanent role. This leads us to the question, “Why is it that local athletes cannot shine on the world stage?” Over the years we have heard that our players are skillful and have natural talent but that obviously is not adequate. Parallel to football skills should be mental fortitude. Freezing weather, distance from home, absence of pelau, doubles and a carib should not stop players from copping a contract with a world class football club. Success is not achieved solely with physical ability and skill but also with the provision of psychological training. Confidence is one of the main psychological traits that athletes need to perform at their best.




ell firstly I would like to say it is an honour to represent this club. The atmosphere is amazing and it’s a great experience for me and the rest of the team. This being my second year playing for Central FC reserve team, I must say the progress made within a year has been phenomenal. From being a new underdog team in the Pro League to now title contenders, I feel great to be part of the experience. Looking on at the first team over their most recent games is remarkable! They have produced the most excellent run of form, scored great goals and are really fun to watch. Also off the pitch, they show no kind of ‘higher rank‘. They move as if they are one with everyone else and have fun the same way. The coaching staff at Central FC....there is not a positive word in the dictionary that can even slightly depict the amazing work they have done over the past few months. The way they break down each exercise and how they explain your mistakes really helps you to improve your game. I must say I have majorly improved my game and also my attitude as well, thanks to Coach Jeffers, Toni, George, Passion, Mr Earl and Ms Dyan…all wonderful people of the coaching staff. The league is running slightly well for us with 2 wins and 2 losses but I see a positive turn for the upcoming games for each of Central’s Youth teams and I look forward to ending the season on a high note.”

Under 18/Reserve Captain

Tevin Peters




have been with Central Football Club for two years. Over the two years, I have learnt a lot, had an opportunity to work with some of the best coaches and viewed some of the first team games. The coaches have helped each member of the team to be more disciplined… how to carry ourselves on and off the field and to be a team player. We haven’t had a good start to our season but I believe that we have the ability to finish first or in the top two. It has been an even greater experience playing for the club and I can’t wait to see what’s planned for the team ahead ”

Under 16 Captain

Darreon Thomas










W Connection







Point Fortin







Central FC







Defence Force FC







North East Stars







Caledonia AIA







Police FC







San Juan Jabloteh







St. Ann’s Rangers









Willis Plaza 12 Rundell Winchester 11 Dwight Quintero 11 Jason Marcano 8 Marvin Oliver 7


Biggest Win: 6-0 vs St. Ann’s Rangers – 21/02/2014 – TT Pro League Worst Loss: 1-5 vs Defence Force – 16/11/2013 – Toyota Classic All-time leading goal-scorer: Rundell Winchester – 16 goals


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english flavour chills central fc

part 1

harrison dumps snow for sunshine.


aving recently turned over League leaders W-Connection 3-0, dispatching second place hopefuls Point Fortin Civic Center 2-0 and achieving a 14 game unbeaten run, Central FC has garnered the attention of Soca Warriors Online (SWO) and many of its members. In its eagerness to find out more about the young, but successful club, SWO caught up with one of the men behind the scenes. Ladies and gentlemen kindly put your hands together for Central FC’s Operations Manager, Mr. Kevin Harrison, an English-man with a passion for Trinbago culture, its people, food and most importantly, its football. Ten years ago living in Trinidad was never even a thought on his mind. Today however Harrison is as Trini they get, even more so than some of the locals themselves. While some locals prefer Reggae and Hip Hop over their own music, Harrison has made it clear that he loves soca and has a huge appetite for curried goat and buss-up-shot. But enough about Kevin’s obvious love of T&T, lets now focus on getting to know the man and the Club he represents.


a European club has not visited T&T’s shores in over ten years. The team plays its home games at the Ato Boldon Stadium and is coached by another English-man and former England international Mr. Terry Fenwick, who replaced a fellow England international Graham Rix. Rix’s stint as head coach of the Chaguanas outfit was brief due to cultural differences.   The moved to replace Rix paid dividends and the Sharks (as the Club is also fondly known) was on its way to its first ever silverware when it copped the 2013 First Citizens Cup Trophy. Subsequent to that achievement they were runners-up in the 2013 FA Trophy competition, only to have lost from spotkicks to Pro League giants W Connection; following a 2-2 regulation time draw and 30 minutes of goalless extra-time action at the Ato Boldon Stadium. Since the inclusion of Fenwick, the club has managed to attract some talented and well known T&T players such as; Willis Plaza, Sean de Silva, Leston Paul, Jason Marcano, Rundell Winchester, JanMichael Williams, Marvin Oliver, Yohance Marshall and off course middle field ace Ataullah Guerra.

Central Football Club is a Trinidad and Tobago professional football club based in California. Not the famous state located on the west coast of the United States, but the small town in Central Trinidad.

Even the staff has been beefed up with former W Connection staff member Norris Ferguson on their books as General Manager.

Central FC was founded in July 2012 by former Trinidad and Tobago international footballer Brent Sancho. From its inception, Sancho’s ambition has always been to propel the Club to an active and high achieving one, both on and off the field.

It must also be noted, that apart from the teams whose players are government employees (Defence Force and Police) and are required to be T&T citizens, only Central FC and Point Fortin Civic FCs entire teams are made up of 100% Trinidad and Tobago born players.

After the Club’s first season, Central built a reputation for bringing football to the communities, having completed over twelve projects including the tour of Football League One club, Walsall FC to Trinidad and Tobago in 2013. It should be noted that,

Harrison meanwhile is also a valuable member of the Soca Warriors Online (SWO) and doesn’t miss a day off it. In fact, he happens to be one of the only supporters who consistently give us updates from the local front.

Another SWO member, Amiel (amielisadore) also drops in and gives us live updates on games. Regarding Amiel Harrison said, “Amiel contacted us just after we formed. He’s a Chelsea supporter (like you Flex), so I invited him to meet former Central FC coach Graham Rix. Then he offered to run our supporters club. He works for free with his friend Shane. We are trying to get him on the payroll. He’s part of the club now.” Harrison continued, “I want to live in T&T forever (chuckled)”... unless I get an offer I can’t resist in the U.K or the U.S, I want to be here forever. “My partner, Natalie (a Trini) and I have been together about 3 years now. We have a beautiful 13 month old daughter, Savannah, who is a regular feature in the stands at matches! She loves football and I’d definitely love her to be a Soca Princess one day. My son, Billy, is 21 and lives in England. He has a rock band so doesn’t play football much, but he still watches his beloved Gillingham.” “We have such a small office staff (Brent Sancho,  our secretary and office manager, Travita Maharaj and myself) and we do everything. Brent will focus more on controlling the budget, while I concentrate more on marketing & promotion,” the Central FC Operations Director further stated. “But pretty much all decisions are shared and agreed upon. It’s a good partnership, utilising and complementing our different skill sets. We still have a long way to go to reach the standards of some clubs in T&T, but then, we do a lot more off the field. We pretty much have our last conversation by phone each day as late as 11pm.”

inshan mohammed

courtesy soca Warriors online

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