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Ex-coach Sterrey rates Fiji soccer

August 05
12:00 2009

Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND. Former national soccer coach Lee Sterrey says Fiji Football Association has continued on a downward spiral in the development of the sport.
Sterrey said the performance of the national side has slumped to an all time low despite Fiji beating a second string All Whites last year.
He said one of the major weaknesses has been the huge influx of overseas players during tournaments like the Fiji FACT, Battle of the Giants and the Inter District Championship.
The Marconi head coach said districts need to throw younger players onto tournaments like the Inkk BOG to help grow soccer in the country.
Sterrey said arrival of overseas based players has an adverse impact on local football.
He said the national side needs to play regular international matches to be competitive.
“I have been following football in Fiji very closely and I am very disappointed that the state of the game has gone backwards in a big way,” said Sterrey.
“From the tournaments perspective the first thing I wanted to instigate during my time was to have only one tournament which allows overseas players while the other tournaments should be for local players.
“The younger players need experience and they need to go on a big stage to help in the development. We have had far too many overseas players coming in for tournaments and taking a pocketful of money. There should be a structure for these tournaments or have just one tournament which allows the participation of overseas players.
“From the development side the game has gone nowhere and if anything the national side is not anywhere on the map.”
The national soccer side will not play any internationals this year.
A total of eight overseas players will play during the four day BOG in Lautoka this weekend.
They are Benjamin Totori (Labasa), Nikola Zonjic, Ali Cem Akbal (Lautoka), Aldrine Kilua, George Gulu (Nasinu), Clifford Wate, James Naka, Jack Wetney (Navua).
Labasa will play Nasinu in the opening match today at 5pm which will be followed by the Navua – Tavua clash at 6.15pm.
Defending champions Ba takes on Nadi at 7.30pm while hosts Lautoka will meet Rewa in the final match of the day at 8.45pm.

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