Go Fiji, go

Fred Wesley | Monday, May 29, 2017
NATIONAL soccer coach Christophe Gamel would have been the happiest man at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday when Fiji defeated the Solomons 1-0.

The return international saw the national side live up to his expectations.

Gamel has made no bones about the fact that he has a dream for the game in Fiji.

He wants to see us develop a new pattern of play.

He wants us putting a stop to the kick-and-chase affairs that have become the norm for many local teams.

Gamel realises our players must embrace a change in habits on the field.

It means raising our standards and playing quality soccer.

The national coach has made no bones about the need for discipline, organisation and a good structure.

It is clear there will be no tolerance for the kick-and-chase game.

Yesterday was different for many fans. There was certainly more structure and cohesion in general play.

It was the stuff the national coach was keen to see in our game.

In the end, we defeated the visitors in a match that many fans will be hoping is the beginning of new and brighter things for the country.

A goal by defender Kolinio Sivoki from a free kick in front of the goal mouth outside the box saw the ball sail above the Solomons' line of defence beating the goalkeeper. The free kick was awarded after Nelson Sale copped his second yellow card for tackling Christopher Wasasala in the 58th minute of play.

The national side showcased a very different brand of soccer.

It is something we should get used to now.

The question is whether the powers that be at Fiji FA house are watching and taking notes?

Such an improvement should see more internationals. It should see our national team getting the opportunity to test combinations, polish set moves and expose our youngsters to a very different level of the game. That means more internationals right here at home.

It may be a hard task to organise, but it certainly will not be a hard task selling the idea to fans. There will no doubt be fans who are eager to see more internationals right here.

In as far as the players are concerned, surely more internationals will surely lift standards in the domestic competition. Players will have an incentive to attract the attention of the national coach.

The roll-on effects are many. Our standing on the FIFA world ranking improves and with it more opportunities for players to attract international scouts.

Everything starts right here though.

That is why the win against the Solomons was special.

Go Fiji, go.

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