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Gamel Points Way Forward

Sending local players to play in overseas football league is the way forward for Fiji, says Christophe Gamel. The Frenchman and Vodafone Fijian na­tional coach believes it is the responsibility
01 Nov 2018 11:24
Gamel Points Way Forward
Vodafone Fijian football head coach Christophe Gamel. Photo: Fiji FA Media

Sending local players to play in overseas football league is the way forward for Fiji, says Christophe Gamel.

The Frenchman and Vodafone Fijian na­tional coach believes it is the responsibility of coaches and officials to secure a future for the players.

Not only does that give the players security, it will also motivate local teams to lift their professionalism.

Wellington Phoenix’s Roy Krishna is cur­rently the only local player plying his trade abroad – in Australia’s A-League.

Krishna played for New Zealand’s Wait­akere United and Auckland City before join­ing the Phoenix in 2014.

Other notable names that have featured for top teams abroad include former Ba players Esala Masi and Ronil Kumar – for Australia’s Newcastle and Waitakere United respectively.

Some players have also played for top re­gional teams.

Alvin Singh, Malakai Tiwa, Osea Vakatale­sau, Pita Bolaitoga, Simione Tamanisau, and Tuimasi Manuca all featured for Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United.

Critics have long questioned whether Fijian footballers are good enough to join teams in Australia, New Zealand or beyond.

“Of course Fiji has capable players to play at that level. There are three or four players that can easily play in overseas leagues,” Gamel said.

“I have been trying to send players overseas. We have been discussing with some pro clubs about our players going over for trials.

“I am also searching for sponsors to send players to the trials. If we have the backing of a sponsor it becomes easy to call a club and send a player with potential over.”

Gamel believes the mindset of local players needed to change for Fiji to improve its foot­ball standards.

“Sometimes the players have a lot of poten­tial but spoil themselves by doing certain things that are wrong,” he said.

“We need to change the mindset of players, as well as the administrators. This task can­not be done alone. It has to be a collective ap­proach.”

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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