Football | SPORTS

Ready For Debut

The Vodafone Fijian Under-20 side left Auckland yesterday for Christchurch were they will be making their debut in the FIFA U20 World Cup. Fiji faces Germany in the opening match
29 May 2015 08:07
Ready For Debut
The Vodafone Fijian Under-20 side arriving in Christchurch. Photo: Fiji FA

The Vodafone Fijian Under-20 side left Auckland yesterday for Christchurch were they will be making their debut in the FIFA U20 World Cup. Fiji faces Germany in the opening match on Monday at Christchurch Stadium.

Farina says spirits in Vodafone Fijian U20 camp are as high as ever as the players gear up for one of the most exciting matches, and events, in their lives.

“It’s an exciting time for them. As I said, a learning curve, and not just for the players but all the staff and representatives of Fiji Football Association, of what this level is.”

Continuing on that theme, Farina says expectations of this team and what they can realistically achieve need to be kept in check.

“I’ve been saying that since the day that I came in, that none of them including the staff and representatives of Fiji Football have come to this level. We’ve seen in previous tournaments at youth level for example when Tahiti qualified and got some pretty poor results.

“For players from the Pacific it’s a big step up, it’s not like playing in Oceania. It’s not an excuse it’s just a reality and you’ve got to keep pointing out reality to people because sometimes their expectations, particularly back in Fiji and Fiji supporters, believe that the team is competitive at this level.

“The reality is they’ve never played at this level and are coming up against some very good sides and professional players – and all of these boys are just part-timers.”

Looking back to their preparations in Sydney Farina says it’s possible to look at those results against some impressive footballing nations and say that the gap is closing.

“In Sydney against Mexico and Colombia the circumstances, conditions were a lot different, the surface was much better and you could play football on it hence the reason why the results were so good.”

With the opportunity to play against the world’s best players at this level, and future stars of the world’s top leagues, one of the key messages for the players is also just to enjoy the experience.

“Fijians generally love to enjoy their football and they are.”



Five Square


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