Solomon Islands about to play Spain in their final friendly before the Futsal World Cup
The Kurukuru will play recently-crowned European champions and former world champions Spain this weekend as they continue their build up for next month’s 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand.
The multipurpose pavilion in Guadalajara, north-east of Madrid, will be the setting for this historic meeting between the champions of the old world and the champions of Oceania.
The match will take place on Saturday and will be the Solomon Islands’ final friendly in Spain before leaving for Thailand on Monday.
This will be the team’s biggest match since their appearance at the last FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2008 and the excitement in the camp is reaching fever pitch as the players look forward to taking the same court as some of their heroes.
“This is a dream come true for us,” captain Elliot Ragomo says.
“To play against Spain is a great honour because we respect them so much and aspire to be like them. Some of the best players in the world are in this team and I cannot wait to play against them.”
The team has been in Spain for a week and have undergone a stringent training programme at the futsal pavilion in Ciudad del Futbol in Las Rozas, Madrid courtesy of the Royal Spanish Football Federation.
The Kurukuru have played two friendly matches against Carnicer Torejjon and Caja Segovia from the Spanish second and first divisions respectively.
It is difficult to compare the two sides with the odds weighing heavily in favour of Spain who have won no less than six European championships and two FIFA Futsal World Cup titles.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Kurukuru have won four Oceania championships and participated in one FIFA Futsal World Cup and are considered to be a newcomer to the futsal world, lacking the experience of their opponent.
That has not dampened spirits in the Kurukuru camp however as they look to make use of the opportunity to play one of the best teams in the world.
Head coach Dickson Kadau acknowledges the difference in capabilities between his team and Spain but says that the Kurukuru will take the court with confidence, determination and an open mind.
“It will be a different battle for Spain and a different battle for Kurukuru – the key for us is to stick to our objectives and play our own game no matter what happens,” Kadau says.
“The result is not as important as what the team will gain from this match. Simply put, you cannot buy such experience in a shop and I want my team to take full advantage of this chance to play this world-class side.”
Kadau revealed his strategy against Spain will be to play in a conservative manner and try to keep hold of the ball as much as possible.
“We will employ, obviously, a defensive game that aims to keep possession our way because this is the only way we can build confidence to attack,” he says.
“That said, when we have opportunities we will attack because scoring will be priceless.”
For more on Solomon Islands football go to www.siff.com.sb