Football

Coach: Fitness A Concern

National football team to play A-League clubs; Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United as warm-up matches. Roy Krishna to join team as soon as his club commitments end while Ravai is in camp
21 Jan 2022 10:05
Coach: Fitness A Concern
England based Peter Ravai (left) and Muni Shivam Naidu (right) during the Digicel National team training session at the Fiji FA Academy in Ba yesterday.

Poor fitness has affected the Digicel Fijian football squad’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Qa­tar in March.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, head coach Flemming Serritslev said the long break after the Digicel Premier League (which ended in December) saw players’ inconsist­ency to keep up with their fitness. The 25-member squad are current­ly camping at the Fiji FA Academy in Ba.

“We almost had to start from scratch again, the players have not been training very much since the last game in the Digicel Premier League,” Serritslev said.

“First we are trying to build-up their fitness again.”

The Fijians will leave for Aus­tralia on February 19 to play three friendly matches against A-League teams.

“After the Digicel Premier League starts, then we will see on whether to bring them into camp before we depart for Australia. We will need to have them in the bubble,” Serrit­slev said.

“We will face three A-League teams, Melbourne Victory, Mel­bourne City and Western United.”

The Dutch national confirmed that Roy Krishna is the only over­seas-based player that is to join the squad while England-based Peter Ravai is already camping with the team.

“Depending on when his game finishes, I don’t think he (Roy) will join the team in Australia, hopeful­ly he will join very soon. It depends on how far his team goes in the In­dian Super League.”

Serritslev will select his final 24-member squad before the Aus­tralian tour as they prepare to take on New Caledonia in their first match of the World Cup qualifiers on March 18.

“I have no expectations for New Caledonia. What we do, is we pre­pare our team to their best possible for all games that we will have in the competition.

“We will come in very good shape but at the moment, I do not know anything about New Caledonia. I have not seen them since 2016.

“I believe they have been hav­ing the same problem for friendly games as we have had.”

The Fijians will also play against New Zealand on March 21 and Papua New Guinea in their fi­nal pool match on March 24.

Feedback: sereana.salalo@fijisun.com.fj



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