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Dau Keen To Make Amends

Dau Keen To Make Amends
The Vodafone Fijian football U19 team. Back; from left; Savenaca Baledrokadroka,Joeli Ranitu,Tito Vodowaqa, Manoj Permal,Krishna Sami,Peni Tuigulagula. Front.from left; Mohammed Khan,Shivan Naidu,Mohammed Alam,Ratu Dau, Iliesa Rakuka in Papeete,Tahiti on August 7,2018. Photo: OFC Media
August 09
10:35 2018

 

A leg injury at the 2017 OFC U17 Championship sidelined the Tavua striker for six months

Vodafone Fijian Under-19 foot­ball striker, Ratu Dau could not have asked for a better start in the OFC U19 Championship in Papeete, Tahiti.

He scored in the opening goal in the 3-1 win over Vanuatu on Tuesday.

And the Tavua striker aims to keep the momentum in the second game against Solomon Islands at Stade Pa­ter tomorrow.

Dau is keen to make amends and hopes for a happy ending after he endured a heartbreaking exit in the 2017 OFC U-17 Championship, suf­fering a tournament ending injury which forced him to watch the final match from the stands in Papeete.

“I am looking forward to helping my team in this U19 tournament and do­ing my best to help my country,”Dau told OFC.

For the 18-year-old Fijian attacker things are certainly on the up if his domestic performances are anything to go by.

An impressive season with local side Tavua in the Vodafone Premier League saw Ratu earning his first international call-up from national coach Christophe Gamel.

He made his senior international debut in July in a 1-0 loss against Ma­laysia and earned a place in the U-19 squad.

His rise is not a surprise to many football fans in Fiji because Ratu is coming from a football playing fam­ily.

The young lad insisted rugby re­mains is the number sport in Fiji but he opted to play football since most of his family members have repre­sented the country in the sport.

“I came from a football family. My uncles used to play football so that motivated me to continue carrying on the family tradition,” he said.

Six Months Sideline

“I was unfortunate last year when I got a bad injury in the first two matches in the U-17 Championship, but I have worked hard to recover be­fore this tournament,” he said.

“The U-17 tournament was my best outing for my country and it was my first time to lead Fiji as captain.

“I scored a goal against Solomon Islands and two goals in the game against Samoa.

“It’s was heartbreaking for me be­cause I couldn’t play against New Zealand in our final group game.”

The injury in 2017 saw him spend six months watching everyone else playing football, and he admitted it was one of the hardest things he’s gone through.

“It was hard for me personally be­cause I was sidelined for six months and missed playing the game I love so much,” he recalled.

“The injury doesn’t stop me from working hard and what happened to me last year has motivated me to come back stronger.”

Group B move to Stade Pater

All remaining Group B matches of the OFC U-19 Championship will be played at Stade Pater in Papeete.

This was after the floodlights at Sta­de Fautaua were deemed less than optimal in comparison.

The decision was taken by the or­ganising committee and OFC Com­petitions Department following the first round of Group B matches which were played on Tuesday.

OFC competitions director Chris Kemp said the committee and the stadium managers must be con­gratulated for the fine work they had done on the playing surface, however with the situation regarding stadium lighting a decision had to be taken.

“It was discovered during the pre-match warm up of Tuesday’s match between Vanuatu and Fiji that two of the light bulbs, which were working the day before, were no longer work­ing,” Kemp said.

“Unfortunately this cannot be rec­tified ahead of the next Group B match day and therefore in order to ensure the players’ safety and the fairest and most consistent playing conditions for all teams participat­ing in this competition we have made the decision to move the remaining matches.”-OFC

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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