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Taka is down to earth: Salusalu

January 06
12:00 2009

Written By : MACIU MALO. One of Fiji’s heroes at the 1987 Rugby World Cup Kaiava Salusalu was saddened to hear the loss of their world cup Fiji team manager Dr Josaia Taka.
The Yasawa native said he has never come across any Fiji manager that could match Dr Taka in terms of looking after the welfare of players.
“Dr Taka is a very humble man and he cared so much for the welfare of the players.”
“In all my years in the national team, I haven’t come across any manager like Dr Taka.”
“The welfare of the players is paramount to him than himself, most of the time after our trainings he would take us to his village in Nakelo just to eat and come back.”
“Or he would take us to Pacific Harbour and places we haven’t visited before.”
“Being a doctor he freely mingled around with players and like we are at the same level, he’s down to earth and has a good personality.”
The former dual international who also played for the Fiji Bati said Dr Taka has left behind a vacuum hard to be filled especially the words he used to psyche the players.
“The words he used to inspire us before the game make us to perform more than expected from us.”
“He always spoke to me in my own dialogue and when he talked to other players he also spoke to them in their own dialogues.”
“He put himself into our shoes especially in times of troubles.”
“I can vividly remember one time we were training in Suva, Vilikesa Vatuwaliwali had some family problems and I was surprised when Dr Taka drove him all the way from Suva to Nadi just to settle his problems before rejoining the team.”
“It shows our how Dr Taka is committed to his job and the passion he has for rugby, he feel for the players.”
Salusalu said Dr Taka played a huge role in their 1987 RWC quarterfinal finish.
“He was instrumental in our 1987 RWC success especially the kind of words he used to psyche us before and after each game.”
“Fiji rugby has lost a true and dedicated rugby son but his legacy will live on in years to come,” Salusalu added.

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