Football | SPORTS

Why Goalkeepers Count At The IDC?

Goalkeepers will again play an important role in any team wanting to win next week’s Courts Interdistrict Championship (IDC) at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.
30 Sep 2022 14:30
Why Goalkeepers Count At The IDC?
Tailevu/Naitasiri goalkeeper Jason Rokovucake makes a save against Navua during their Digicel Premier League match at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, on July 24, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Goalkeepers will again play an important role in any team wanting to win next week’s Courts Interdistrict Cham­pionship (IDC) at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

When Labasa hoisted the Punjas Battle of the Giants title in August, coach, Ravneel Pratap attributed their success to the presence of vet­eran goalkeeper Simione Tamani­sau.

“The win was the result of our de­fence turned attack where our goal­keeper, Simione Tamanisau, led by example with those brilliant saves,” Pratap said of the 40-year-old goal­keeper after their 2-1 win over Rewa in the final.

It’s crucial to have good goalkeep­ers when going into a tournament.

Sir Alex Ferguson, the most suc­cessful Manchester United manager once remarked: ‘A great goalkeeper is worth 15 points over the course of a season.”

During his term with Manchester United, Sir Alex made sure that he had good goalkeepers (who are con­sistent performers) to choose from.

World’s top goalkeepers like Peter Schimeichel, Fabien Barthez (FIFA World Cup winner), Mark Bosnich and Edwin Van Der Sar, all played under Sir Alex at Old Trafford.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Ba and Nadi dominated the football scene because they had good goalkeepers in the form of Bale Raniga and Save­naca Waqa.

All that changed when Suva took over in the early 1980s when they had Akuila Ravono at goalkeeper and Lautoka soon took over with goalkeeper Nasoni Buli at his best.

This had been the story over the years with goalkeepers like Vula Wate, Luke Waqa, Joeli Tadrau, Tagi Vonolagi, Petero Namoce and the list goes on.

Next weekend, let’s take a look at our goalkeepers who could make things happen for their team:

  • SIMIONE TAMANISAU (Labasa)

He is still going strong at 40. His wealth of experience in directing play and setting up their defensive line is what the Babasiga Lions need at the moment.

On the bench, is upcoming Atu Naucukidi, who could be handy if Tamanisau gets injured.

  • TEVITA RAVIA (Nadi)

He is a rising star. Starred for Nadi during the Digicel Premier League and caught the attention of head coach Flemming Serrtislev, who drafted him into the national squad to play in the recent MSG Prime Minister’s Cup in Vanuatu. That ex­perience could augur well for Nadi.

  • MOHAMMED ALAM (Rewa)

Safe and sound at the back but re­cently has been struggling to find his form of old. Had a quiet OFC Champions League and B.O.G. Defi­nitely! He’ll start for Rewa and make his presence felt.

  • AKUILA MATEISUVA (Suva)

Another veteran goalie who knows what it takes to win the IDC. Some­one, Suva can count on when the go­ing gets tough. He leads by example but should not be causal, which can prove disastrous.

  • JASON ROKOVUCAKE (Tailevu/Naitasiri)

Very promising during the Digi­cel Premier League as he time and again made spectacular saves for Tailevu/Naitasiri.

The only let down for Jason is the defenders around him on their lack­luster performance.

Once they tightened up their game and with Jason at the back, Tailevu/Naitasiri is capable of doing the im­possible.

Story By: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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