Waterhouse open CFU Club Championship against Cibao


Waterhouse open CFU Club Championship against Cibao

By Howard Walker
Observer senior reporter

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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Jamaica's Waterhouse Football Club will tackle Cibao Football Club of the Dominican Republic in Group A action of the 2020 Flow Caribbean Club Championship at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, starting at 7:00 pm today.

The group is completed by Don Bosco of Haiti with the top two teams advancing to the semi-final round where they will meet teams from Group B headed by defending champions Portmore United and includes Athletico Pantoja of Dominican Republic and Arcahaie of Haiti.

The two teams from Trinidad and Tobago — W Connection and Central FC — were not allowed to compete in the 2020 Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship as the association did not properly execute its club licensing programme.

The 2020 Caribbean Club Championship (also known as the CFU Club Championship) will be the 22nd edition.

It is a first-tier annual international club football competition in the Caribbean region, held amongst clubs whose football associations are affiliated with the Caribbean Football Union , a sub-confederation of Concacaf.

The winner will qualify to the 2021 Concacaf Champions League, while the second- and third-place teams will qualify to the 2020 Concacaf League.

The fourth-place team will play against the winners of the 2020 Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield in a play-off match to determine the final Caribbean spot to the 2020 Concacaf League.

With that said, Waterhouse will be looking for a good start against a pretty young Cibao FC, which was founded in 2015.

Waterhouse are the current leaders of the local Red Stripe Premier League and Head Coach Marcel Gayle expects a tough encounter.

“We know it's an international game so we expect a tough game. However, we are focused and prepared and confident,” said Gayle.

Waterhouse will have to do without the influential Tramaine Stewart due to injury, but will be looking to goalkeeper Akeem Chambers, Captain Keithy Simpson, Rafeik Thomas, Nicholy Findlayson, Ricardo Thomas, Kenroy Howell, Shawn Lawes, Mark Miller, Colorado Murray, and young Shaquille Bradford for victory.

“Tramaine is out but nevertheless, we are a quality team and we have replacements in the squad,” he added.

“I saw a few clippings of them and they have players from all over the Caribbean, so I expect a tough game,” Gayle reiterated.

“We play attractive and aggressive football and there is no doubt tomorrow we will come out and try play from minute one and we just want to go out there and play good football,” he added.

Jamaica's champions Portmore United will start their campaign on February 5 as they try to defend their title. The semi-final stage will be played on May 8 with the final set for May 10.

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