Fiji Sports

Young charge for Solomons

Written By : FijiSun Sports Desk. Solomon Island Futsal coach Victor Wai’ia has the anomaly of having the youngest and yet the most experienced squad at the OFC Futsal Championships
07 Jun 2008 12:00

Written By : FijiSun Sports Desk. Solomon Island Futsal coach Victor Wai’ia has the anomaly of having the youngest and yet the most experienced squad at the OFC Futsal Championships in Suva. The squad boasts two 17 year olds with the oldest player only 22 and yet seven of the side, remain from the Australia National Futsal Championship in Canberra this year. That experience combined with a pre-tournament trip to Sydney next week makes the Solomon Island side very well prepared for the test ahead of them in Fiji.
Wai’ia was the assistant coach in the 2004 OFC Futsal Championships in Sydney and has since risen through the ranks to take charge of the young side that he has been grooming for many years.
“I coached these boys since they were 12 and were put together in the school of excellence and the junior league that we organised back in Honiara,” Wai’ia said.
The Solomon Island side have had a healthy preparation campaign where they travelled to Sydney, Australia and met competition from the Dural Warriors (7-4 win), North End Beaches (6-5 win) and Sydney Magic (3-4 loss).
Wai’ia said that three of his squad play outdoor football in lower divisions back home and the rest are all specialized Futsal players.
“Futsal is really growing in the Solomon Islands,” said Wai’ia. “We now have 109 registered teams from U-12 to U-16 level.”
“The open category league started three weeks ago and my squad all play for open category clubs.”
Wai’ia said he will look to two utility players to lead his team when the tournament starts on Sunday.
“Elliot Ragomo and Jack Whetney both have experience playing in the high profile European and Australian Futsal leagues.
Wai’ia said that the Vodafone Arena will provide a different feel to the courts the Solomon Island team are used to playing on.
“We don’t have specialized Futsal facilities in the Solomon’s so instead we play on Netball courts, where the dimensions are a little smaller.”
“We will have to adjust to the bigger field size but will have a good chance to have a look when we train at the arena tomorrow evening.
“The players are very excited and have been looking forward to this for a long time,” Wai’ia said.



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