The local side will represent Oceania in the World Cup after winning the OFC Futsal qualifier in Fiji last Saturday. They beat New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tahiti and Tuvalu to win the tournament. Their only loss was in their game against Vanuatu.
Coach Victor Wai’ia said they will return to train in Fiji for a month before heading off to Brazil. This is because Fiji have a similar court size that will be used in the World Cup. Futsal is a five-a-side indoor version of soccer.
Wai’ia said: “Our main problem is lack of proper training facilities. This has affected us in the OFC championship,” he said.
“We shouldn’t have conceded the 19 goals scored against us,” he said.
Wai’ia said the team will also have two or three international matches before going to the World Cup.
Thousand of fans, families and friends turned up at Honiara International Airport to welcome the young heroes on arrival yesterday.
Wai’ia attributed their victory to the collective support they received from all Solomon Islanders.
“The boys are physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually fit,” he said. “However, without your support, they will not come this far,” Wai’ia said.
- God for all the things He has done for the team since the beginning of the campaign,
- Solomon Islands Government for the financial assistance, Solomon Islands Football Federation and other stakeholders who assisted the team in one way or the other,
- Families, communities and futsal fans, and
- Rob and Brian, committed futsal experts from Sydney, who were with the team to analyse the weaknesses and strengthened it before the next match.
Source : Solomon Star News
Published : 18/6/2008
By : Eddie Osifelo