Central FC goalkeeper Ryan Thompson (pictured) in Caribbean Club Championship action against Grenades FC on May 14, 2017, in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo: CA-Images)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago – Central FC is attempting to become the first team to win three straight Caribbean Club Championship crowns, but -- as history proves – it’s not a simple task.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Joe Public (1998, 2000 – no tournament in 1999) and the Puerto Rico Islanders (2010, 2011) are the only sides to lift the trophy at the conclusion of two straight editions.
Goalkeeper Ryan Thompson recently joined Central FC after 10 years playing in Europe and the United States. He is excited about making history with his new club and what it can achieve going forward.
“We are eyeing the treble” said the 32-year-old Jamaica international. “This is a great club that is going in the right direction. The facilities are wonderful and, based on the caliber of the players in store, we are aiming to not only get to the CONCACAF Champions League, but also to win this [Caribbean] title.”
The Sharks made a good start to the finals currently being contested at Hasely Crawford Stadium, registering a 3-1 win over Antigua & Barbuda’s Grenades FC on Sunday.
Next up is a Group A encounter Thursday against Cibao FC of the Dominican Republic. Central will advance to the final with a draw, while Cibao needs to win. Only the champion will advance from the Caribbean directly to the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
Thompson, who has played in the UEFA Champions League (2011/12 season with Ireland’s Shamrock Rovers), views the opportunity to compete in the SCCL as an important part of his football CV.
“I have been privileged to play in the (UEFA) Champions League, Europa League in Ireland and play in Sweden, he finished. “Also to play in North America has been a wonderful experience as well.
“Now, playing with Central FC, I feel at home as I am in the Caribbean and with our next game against Cibao we will be focused on another 3 points and from there we focus on the next step.”