Central FC's Darren Mitchell (black jersey #11) appeared in three games during the 2015/16 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. (Photo: Caribbean Action Images)
COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago -- Darren Mitchell wasn’t on the field when Central FC captured its first CFU Club Championship in 2015.
Last month at the Stade Sylvio Cator in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, however, Mitchell had his chance and didn’t let it pass, scoring the third and final goal in a 3-0 win over fellow Trinidad & Tobago power DirecTV W Connection to clinch a second straight Caribbean title.
“To me it was a great achievement because last year I didn’t get an opportunity to play in the finals, which we also won,” Mitchell told CONCACAF.com. “This year, I got my opportunity and made the best use of it.”
Making the victory even sweeter was that it came against W Connection. The two sides have faced each other in numerous important over the last two years – including last year’s CFU final -- further fueling the rivalry.
“To be honest it was a great feeling for me because the whole season we had been losing to them in the league, in the domestic cup,” said Mitchell. “Before the game, we said it was no better feeling than to beat them in the Caribbean Cup finals. It was a great joy. To me, it was a great feeling.”
Although the club was only founded in 2012, the Sharks have already established themselves as the elite of the Caribbean with back-to-back domestic and Caribbean championships.
“It all comes down to the team to be honest,” Mitchell remarked. “The team had been doing hard work in training, sometimes double sessions, bonding among the players. Everybody seems to understand each other, so we have a good chemistry. We just enjoy the football, go out and play for one another and play hard.”
Central FC will now look to make a name for itself regionally, having clinched a second straight berth in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. A year ago, Central finished second in a group that featured the LA Galaxy and Comunicaciones. After early struggles in road losses to both teams, the Sharks ended strong with a 1-0 win over Comunicaciones and a 1-1 draw with LA.
“This year, we have a better understanding and feeling what the tournament is like,” commented Mitchell, who has been capped twice by Trinidad & Tobago. “Once we prepare right and we go out there and work hard, we should have a better performance and get better results.”
With the experience of last year under their belts, Mitchell is confident about winning a group that also contains the Vancouver Whitecaps and Sporting Kansas City, both out of Major League Soccer.
“It’s a good chance for players like myself and the other guys to go out there and show the talent and show what we’re capable of,” Mitchell finished. “I’m even more excited because I really want to make an impact this time around. I want to go out there, give my best and hope maybe I catch the eye of a scout. I’m more excited this time around.”