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Tavua Not An Easy Team To Beat

Tavua Not An Easy Team To Beat
Tavua players and officials celebrate their victory against Seaqaqa in the second leg of the Vodafone Senior League play off at Subrail Park in Labasa. Photo: Fiji Football Media
September 07
11:00 2017

The Tavua Football side will not be an easy team to beat in the 2017 Courts Inter District (IDC) Tournament says president Pranesh Prakash.

This is after the gold miners secured a spot in the Premier Division after winning the second leg of the Vodafone Senior League fixture against Seaqaqa last Saturday.

The Saroj Kumar coached-side had secured a spot in the top division of football after a 3-1 win over Seaqaqa in the second leg of the 2017 Vodafone Senior League play-off after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Prakash said he was so proud to take the team back to the premier division.

“I am so proud today, we had the support from our vanua and all the people and were confident of making a return this year. This is my third year as president and today I have achieved a dream which I had for a long time and thanks to the players and officials,” Prakash said.

“This will be after four years that Tavua will make a return to the top level in football and it is a big achievement for us.

Prakash said they would have celebration to honour the players.

“We will be having a carnival in Tavua next week and will join in the float procession to mark the victory,” he said.

Prakash said they have a motto to only have their own players rather than pouching from other districts.

“We had a motto to have our own players and especially developing youth players and I am sure my players will do the job in the premier division.”

He said he would love to see players who were playing in other districts to make a return.

“All onus are on them and if they want to come back and play for the district our door is always open.”

He accepted that they would need some experience players to battle the top guns in the premier division.

“Yes we will need some experience players as we have very young players in the side but we will try to mould these players.”

“The players lack experience and exposure and I am sure the boys are confident now after playing in huge crowd and good grounds.”

He said don’t count us out we would put a big challenge in Courts IDC.

In the match proper both teams displayed some entertaining football in front of the huge crowd gathered at Subrail Park in Labasa.

Seaqaqa scored first through Lekima Rakariva in the 60th minute before Tavua’s substitute  striker Atunaisa Livanalagi equalised in the 65th minute.  Goal scorer Rakariva was send off after referee Deepak Mudaliar showed the marching orders in the 67’ minute for man handling.

Seaqaqa playing with one man down gave the visitors advantage and Livanalagiscored again in the 88th minute to extend Tavua’s lead.

Tavua hammered the final nail in the 89th minute through Lekima Rokolio.

Kumar said the players had the heart to win an all-important match for the people of Tavua.

“We were confident of winning the match and coming into the premier division though we drew 1-all in the first match and then in the second match Seaqaqa took a lead in the second half, the players fought gallantly until the final whistle to take Tavua back to where it belonged,” he said.

“The players stuck to the game plan despite Seaqaqa scoring first in the match.

“We played balls out wide and the players finished off well. It was all about teamwork with the players and officials and I thank the people of Tavua for praying for the team.”

Tavua had defeated top teams Suva, Ba, Lautoka, and Nadi in the past.

“The players were committed and dedicated towards the team and most of them are born and bred in Tavua and with the same level of commitment and dedication we can tackle big teams again,” a happy Kumar said.

He dedicated the win to his team captain Niteshwar Reddy’s nine-day-old baby boy and to the people of Tavua.

“Fans looked down on us after we scored a draw with Seaqaqa last week. I told the boys we have to win to prove our own people back home wrong.”

The Gold miners last won the major tournament in 1994 when they won the Vodafone Fiji FACT and in 1995 they clinched the Courts IDC trophy. Tavua received the prizemoney of $6000 while Seaqaqa walked away with $2000.

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