Club Sando head coach Angus Eve has sent a stark warning to opponents with former T&T Under-20 captain and Point Fortin Civic midfielder Jabari Mitchell among his latest reinforcements.
Mitchell, 21, and 19-year-old 1976 Phoenix FC’s Jabarry Francis, who were both acquired before the August 31 transfer deadline, are expected to beef up Club Sando’s engine room after the recent acquisition of 24-year-old ex-Pt Fortin Civic and W Connection striker Shackeil “Smeck” Henry.
T&T winger Tyrone Charles also made a late return to the club from Central FC.
“We didn’t just add [players] for adding sake,” said Eve, who believes he is equipped with his best squad since taking over from Anthony Streete in 2016.
Eve added that the new signings represent the club’s commitment to its philosophy in player development and competitiveness.
“We have continuously improved in the last two seasons, finishing fifth, then fourth – the last within a point of a third-place finish; and this season we would like to show further improvement,” he explained.
“We don’t have the budget or the resources of the some of the teams in the league, but we always seem to be among the top five.
“We have also seen Jared London, Akeem Humphrey and Josiah Trimmingham make the national team. Trimmingham played most of his young career elsewhere at San Juan Jabloteh, but we’ve added the bit of seasoning needed to be a national player,”
Henry, the younger brother of Club Sando shot-stopper Kelvin Henry, has already scored two goals in less than a handful of appearances for his new club and Eve believes the former-Vietnam-based forward can improve under the guidance of assistant coach and 2006 World Cup forward Cornell Glen.
Mitchell, meanwhile, had reportedly secured his first overseas contract, a one-year agreement, with Albania top-flight team KS Kastrioti in June, but the ex-W Connection starlet was back home to reunite with Pt Fortin Civic for the 2018 Pro League season before his latest decision to join Club Sando.
“Jabari felt his career was going off the boil,” Eve said of Mitchell, the 2014 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) 'Player of the Year' whom he coached at Naparima College.
“Jabari has creativity, and he is a little more direct than guys like Michael Basdeo and Keron Cornwall. He is a goal-scorer in midfield. He is a player I’ve always admired.”
Meanwhile, Eve still joggles his time as Naparima College coach and it was during last month’s trip to Tobago for part of the former SSFL champions’ pre-season camp, Francis, a defensive midfielder, impressed the former national captain during a couple friendly matches “Naps” played against Super League side 1976 FC Phoenix.
Club Sando is enjoying its best league starts since joining the top flight in 2015, and sits fifth on the Pro League standings following a rollercoaster start to the truncated 2018 campaign with three wins, two defeats and one drawn result for ten points, the same as Central FC and Defence Force FC, while W Connection (16 points) and San Juan Jabloteh (13 points) lead the pack with 12 games left.