Soccer expectations

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu | Thursday, May 25, 2017
Upon the conclusion of the Fiji FACT pool games, the Jetsetters, Tigers, Lions and the boys from the Capital City stood tall.
This fallen road sign at the junction of Jerusalem Rd and Ratu Mara Rd roundabout in Nabua, Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU
This fallen road sign at the junction of Jerusalem Rd and Ratu Mara Rd roundabout in Nabua, Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Labasa faces an in-form Rewa team. The Nathan Shivam-coached and well-polished Suva team is up against Nadi. Expect a bumper crowd for the semis as three southern teams fare against the lone western hope, not forgetting that Rt Cakobau Park is home to the Labasa team.

Meanwhile, Ba and Lautoka fans were disappointed when their teams failed to reach the semi-final. Lautoka netted 10 goals against Rakiraki but this was not enough as the Suva vs Rewa gamed ended in a draw. Round one was entertaining and exciting. Let's hope that round two will live up to expectations.

On the other hand, Christophe Gamel has limited time to prepare Fiji to face the Solomon Islands in a two-match international friendly series.

The French international has also included some very senior players who have proven themselves time and again, when given the opportunity, to wear the national jumper,

I am pleased to see quite a number of young players being chosen to represent Fiji.

These young players proved themselves during the Fiji Fact. Surprisingly, after a long time, two players from a senior team have made the cut. Expectations are high, but fans must understand that in two days, Gamel would have worked on combinations to execute a game plan to contain the Solomon Islands. It's always tough to prepare a national team in a short period of time. Gamel needs time, resources and overseas matches, and all looks good as our national team is billeted to play against Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and perhaps Thailand.

Gamel needs to instil in our players the importance of pride when they don the national jumper, and stress the importance of scoring goals.

There is a need to motivate our players to minimise getting yellow and red cards. This became a feature during the Fiji Fact.

I wish our soccer team all the best against our Solomon Islands counterparts. I also urge soccer fans to rally behind our team. Fiji all the way!

As I conclude, I thank the Methodist Church and the Methodist schools for commemorating the life of the great John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.

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