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Ba To Play Warm Up Matches In New Zealand

Vodafone Premier League defending champions Ba are optimistic of winning the Oceania Football Confederation’s Champions League in order to represent Fiji to the FIFA Club World Cup in United Arab
13 Feb 2017 11:40
Ba To Play Warm Up Matches In New Zealand
BA FOOTBALL

Vodafone Premier League defending champions Ba are optimistic of winning the Oceania Football Confederation’s Champions League in order to represent Fiji to the FIFA Club World Cup in United Arab Emirates in December.

In their campaign, Ba officials have arranged for build up matches in New Zealand against Champions League champions Auckland City, Waitakere United and Eastern Suburbs.

Ba Football Association president, Rishi Kumar said, they would fly out on Friday and play build-up matches in New Zealand before the Champions League.

“We will play two matches in New Zealand,” he said.

“Our fans in New Zealand are arranging for the build-up matches. Auckland City, Waitakere United or Eastern Suburbs are some of the clubs being approached.

“These clubs are currently competing in their premier league competition in New Zealand and we are confident that amidst their busy schedule, we will have the opportunity of playing them. We are serious about our chances this year and we are confident that our players will do us proud.”

Kumar said they are not pooled with Auckland City but playing them would test their capabilities on how to tackle their pool opponents.

Ba came close in 2007 but lost to Waitakere United in the final which hindered their chances of playing in the club world cup.

“This time around and after 10 years, the Men in Black are destined to turn their fortune around by qualifying for the club world cup. Number seven is a lucky number for us as we have played in the 2007 final and 2017 will be our year.”

Kumar said they would be relying on their local players to do the job. In the current transfer window which closes on Wednesday, the side recruited three players from other districts. They are Praneel Naidu,  Remueru Tekiata from Labasa and goalkeeper Shaneel Naidu from Dreketi.

Both Naidu and Tekiata played important roles in Ba’s 2-1 win over Suva in their Vodafone Premier League 2017 opener.

“We will take the local players and the inclusion of three players will boost the team. Naidu and Tekiata have played for Ba so they will easily fit in while Naidu is a goalkeeper and we are glad to have him in the team.”

Ba will wrap up their preparation on Wednesday as they take on Rewa.

“The match will help us work on some of our weak areas before we play the final two build-up matches.”

Ba will play their pool matches in New Caledonia. They are in Group B with hosts Hienghene Sports, Team Wellington and Puaikura.  Ba play their first pool match on February 26 against Hienghene Sport.

Fiji’s second representative team to the Champions League Rewa will start their campaign next month.

The Delta Tigers will play their pool matches in Tahiti and are pooled with hosts Tefana, Marist Fire and Erakor Golden Star.

Meanwhile, Ba walloped Rewa 4-1 in their first warm-up clash at Govind Park, Ba yesterday.


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