Fiji soccer

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu | Friday, December 22, 2017
A lot has been said by critics after our national soccer team failed to win gold at the Mini Pacific Games in Vanuatu as the hosts walked away with the biggest slice of the pie.
Vanuatu striker Tony Kaltack heads the ball infront of the Fiji's goalmouth in their clash at Port Villa stadium yesterday.Picture ATU RASEA
Vanuatu striker Tony Kaltack heads the ball infront of the Fiji's goalmouth in their clash at Port Villa stadium yesterday.Picture ATU RASEA

I know we all expected Fiji to win gold but lapse in concentration and a few defensive blunders resulted in the gold medal loss.

Anyway, the Pacific Mini Games is water under the bridge and our focus must shift towards building a young and versatile soccer team.

We need players to be rugged and focused on the match. Sometimes our players drift away when the pressure takes its toll on the boys and the result, our players end up making simple mistakes.

The Fiji FA soccer calendar kicks off with the much-anticipated CVC clash between the Babasiga Lions and the Sugar City Blues. This is going to be a mouth-watering clash between the old rivals.

On the other hand, I agree with Shah from Savusavu that if we stand any chance of improving our soccer standard further, then the onus lies on our club competition.

Districts need to place more emphasis on club competition. Those days soccer in Savusavu was lively and we would wait for local club games and Bhartiya and Sanatan tournaments at Narains Park.

The Savusavu soccer team under the able leadership of the late Surendra Rama hosted giants Nadi, Lautoka, Nasinu and Tavua in the promotion and relegation series. Savusavu also won numerous IDC titles and produced a lot of talented players because club soccer was a top priority. A player from Savusavu Apolosi Gata made a name for himself in Lautoka.

Even the Fiji FA National Club Championship played in the '90s attracted huge crowds because of the fierce competition.

Today we barely see 200 people despite the free passage. My humble plea with Fiji FA and to all the soccer districts is to join hands and start with soccer at club level. Fiji has a wealth of talent. We don't have to go offshore to get players. We have hundreds of Roy Krishnas in Fiji.

They just need exposure and nurturing. To Chris Gamel, continue with the good work. Fiji soccer has seen a change since you arrived. To our Bula Boys, thank you for your commitment at the Pacific Mini Games!

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