The Solomon Islands national under 19 team’s hopes of making it through the Under 20 World Cup qualifying round in Fiji is high with the absence of New Zealand and Tahiti’s.
New Zealand will not participate as they will be the host for the World Cup next year whilst Tahiti is not sending a team.
Since the competitions inception, Tahiti has been the only island country that made it through qualification round and into the World Cup at this age category.
“This is a lifetime opportunity,” said the head coach, Commins Menapi.
He said there is a great chance for Solomon Islands to make it through this qualifying stage.
Despite only three months of preparation for the championship, coach Menapi remains optimistic.
“I have confidence in all the players and I am sure we can give our best for the country as ambassadors to this World Cup qualifying round.”
Menapi said most of his players played in the S-league and sure to deliver to the expectation.
Team captain Philip Mago also shared similar sentiments.
“We are prepared and ready to give our best.
“Expectations for us to deliver will be high, and we are going to give our best to achieve whatever positive end results,” he said.
SIFF’s normalizing committee acting chairman, Barnabas Anga also urged the boys to do their best in the world cup qualifier.
“You are the 20 fortunate boys’ choosen out of the many to represent our country,” he said.
“Yyou have proven beyond doubt that you are capable and that is why you’re choosen into this national under 19 squad.
“We have no doubt, and the country is behind the team in this world cup qualifying campaign in Fiji.”
To farewell the team, a reception was held on Thursday night, attended by sponsors and stakeholders including the normalizing committee.
Major sponsors include the Solomon Islands Government, Solomon Airlines, Solomon Telekom, Soltuna and Advance Group.
The team of 18 players will leave for Fiji today and will be joined by two New Zealand based players in Nadi.
By Bradford Theonomi