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Lautoka Prepare For Marist FC

Lautoka Prepare For Marist FC
Former Wellington Phoenix striker Benjamin Totori to spearhead Lautoka’s campaign with veteran Osea Vakatalesau. Photo: Zimbio
April 17
10:00 2018

Lautoka have high hopes of taking district football to unprecedented heights when they clash with Marist FC of the Solomon Islands in the first of two home and away matches at Churchill Park on Sunday.

By being the first Fijian district side to qualify for the semifinals, Lautoka have raised the bar to a new level and have adopted a more professional approach.

The two sides clash in one of two semifinals in the OFC Championships League.

There is a buzz around the camp that they could actually go on and qualify for the final.



Such is the morale within the Blues camp ahead of this match but Lautoka Football Association president, Abdul Kadar is making sure that the player’s feet are on the ground.

The side have been boosted by the return of one of their seasoned and respected midfielders, Zibraaz Sahib, who missed their OFC matches in New Zealand and Tahiti because of visa problems.

Sahib, who won Fiji FA’s Most Popular Player Award last Friday, has been the backbone of Lautoka’s midfield play and also the country’s best penalty shooter.



Kadar said Lautoka FA was indebted and grateful to Fiji FA for allowing national coach Christophe Gamel to help the side with a more professional approach to this clash.

“Gamel has certainly boosted our preparations with his professionalism and for that we are thankful to him.

“We want the people of Lautoka and perhaps everyone in Fiji who love soccer and want to cheer on Lautoka to be at Churchill Park on Sunday.



“We have reached this far and playing at home for not only Lautoka fans but for everyone is a blessing. We had dedicated our quarterfinal clash to all the flood victims and we will continue to do our best as every win we know will bring a smile to a lot of faces during times of despair.

“The boys want to win and give all soccer fans something to smile about.”

Kadar said he would like to see Churchill Park filled up on Sunday as Lautoka will be representing Fiji and not just the sugar city alone.

“If we win it will be for everyone in Fiji and especially those still recovering from the floods and damages caused by Cyclone Keni.”

Kadar said the side is injury free and are in high spirits as they have been preparing well.

“Marist FC is no ordinary side so we have to be on top of our game to come out winners.”

Also joining the team’s camp is Vanuatu defender Brian Kaltrack, Solomon Islands striker Benjamin Totori and Cory Chettleburgh. The match kicks off at 3pm.

Tickets will go on sale from Thursday at the Lautoka City Council and prices are as follows: Grandstand (cement and wooden) – Adults $10 Children under 12 $4; Embankment – Adults $6 Children under 12 – $3. VIP Seating – $15 (Limited seating).

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua



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