Title-holders, Central FC will hope to shrug off its rust when it kicks off defence of its First Citizens Cup against Pt Fortin Civic in the feature match of a quarterfinal double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva from 8pm.
Two hours earlier at the same venue, record six-time (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006. 2007 & 2008) winners DirecTV W Connection meet qualifying round giant-killers San Juan Jabloteh for the first spot up for grabs in the semifinal carded for Friday october 24.
On Saturday, the remaining quarterfinals will take place as another double-header, at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya with Police FC facing St Ann’s Rangers from 5pm followed by two-time (2011 & 2012) winners Caledonia AIA tackling Japs North East Stars at 7pm.
For Central FC, tonight’s match could not have come any sooner as it has been idle since its 7-0 Digicel T&T Pro League hammering of St Ann’s Rangers on the opening day of the season on September 25.
However, a trio of its players, Ataullah Guerra, Leston Paul and Jan-Michael Williams were all part of the T&T team which topped its Caribbean Football Union Cup Group Seven semifinal round qualifiers last weekend and together with veteran leader Marvin Oliver, Jean-Luc Rochford, Dwight Quintero, Kaydion Gabriel and Sean De Silva, should pose too much for their opponents.
Speaking at the launch of the tournament, De Silva said “We are definitely very eager to defend this title especially being the first one; being very meaningful and very important to the club.”
The 24-year-old De Silva, who joined Central during last season’s December/January transfer window and was part of the team that won the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield and finished runners-up in the Digicel Pro League, added, “The dream is to retain that (First Citizens Cup) number one spot all the way till the end. We are definitely more than capable to go all the way and defend the title. We are favourites [being] the defending title holders.”
Pt Fortin, on the otherhand have not tasted victory for the season after losing both Pro League matches to date, against Defence Force (0-1) and North East Stars (1-3), the last being on Friday October 3 and will no doubt be eager to send the title holders packing.
Another coach looking for his team to play spoilers is Jabloteh’s Keith Jeffrey after disposing of last year’s beaten finalist Defence Force 3-2 on penalty-kicks following a 1-1 draw in Tuesday’s qualifier at Macoya.
Now faced with a daunting task of getting past W Connection, which is yet to play a match this season, Jeffrey sounded positive about his team’s chances.
“I have a fair idea of what W Connection does so our system will change for W Connection relative to the game on Friday.”
He added, “We know the pinnacle is when we are against W Connection. We want to be victorious. All players must try to achieve against the best team in the land, and the best team in the land is W Connection. It is an opportunity for the present Jabloteh players to show if they can compete at W Connection’s level.”
Jeffrey added that Jabloteh’s ambition is to be successful in the 2014-2015 and to return the club onto the pedestal as one of the top teams in T&T.
Remaining 2014 First Citizens Cup fixtures
W Connection vs Jabloteh, 6 pm = D - Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
Central FC vs Pt Fortin Civic, 8 pm = A - Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
Police FC vs St Ann's Rangers, (C)—5 pm - Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya
Caledonia AIA vs North East Stars (B)—7 pm - Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya
A vs C = M
B vs D = N
M vs N