SPORTS

U17 Comp Set To Start

The eight contenders for the 2017 OFC Under-17 Championship are eager to display their talent on the international stage when the competition kicks off in Papeete, Tahiti on Monday. Five
11 Feb 2017 11:00
U17 Comp Set To Start
Some members of the Vodafone Under-17 team.

The eight contenders for the 2017 OFC Under-17 Championship are eager to display their talent on the international stage when the competition kicks off in Papeete, Tahiti on Monday.

Five teams will hold more experience in their side than past teams with participants from last year’s inaugural OFC Education Centre recruited to represent their respective countries.

Fiji’s Mohammed Naizal, Samoa’s Eti Fatu, Papua New Guinea’s Emmanuel Simongi, Vanuatu’s Abert Vanva and Solomon Islands’ Steward Toata were all selected for the Auckland-based programme, attending school, training with OFC coaches, and learning life skills before returning to their home countries.

The programme’s success is evident in the contribution the five footballers have already made on the field during warm-up matches for the competition.

Competition favourites New Zealand hold a wealth of locally-based players, with the majority of the side from Wellington Phoenix academy and Onehunga Sport. Brisbane Roar midfielder Oliver Duncan is the only exception to the all New Zealand-based side. As the only current OFC member association to ever win the OFC U-17 Championship, New Zealand will be feeling confident about retaining the title in the 2017 edition.  Fiji’s first game is against Solomon Islands.

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