OFC : Osman named Kiwi mentor

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THE New Zealand national futsal team, the Futsall Whites, have appointed Erkin Osman as its coach for the upcoming OFC Championship which kicks off this weekend.Cypriot-born Osman comes highly recommended and replaces Brod Crighton.

Osman has an impressive profile as a player and coach which includes the only player to make four World Cup appearances for Australia in Futsal and coaching Socceroo and Everton star, Tim Cahill as a junior.

The 12-member squad includes four from the previous campaign in 2004 in which NZ finished runner-up to Australia. Australia is this year competing in the Asian Championship and NZ futsal are hoping that their absence will open the door for NZ to represent OFC at the World Cup later this year in Brazil.

Auckland club East City provides the bulk of the squad with eight players, one from Waikato, two from Capital Futsal in Wellington and one from Brisbane.

Osman got a good look at the squad last week when they met in Auckland.

The side is the top bet for the playoffs to make the World Cup.

It will face competition from Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Competition starts on Saturday.

Source : The Fiji Times
Published 4/6/2008

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