By CARLOS ARUAFU
NATIONAL under-17 head coach Stanley Waita says he’s impressed with the performance of the newly selected players, the latest to join the training squad for the FIFA U17 World Cup in Poland this year.
Waita had the chance to observe the players’ performances yesterday during their first training session, which includes both the old and new players.
The new players were selected from the recently held Youth Solomon Cup tournament in Honiara.
“The new players are quite impressive; they did well and stepped up their game in the first day of training,” Waita said.
“I did not expect them to perform to such a level but they proved their worth and showed commitment in their training,” he added.
“That’s a good start and we will help them move up from here.”
Waita briefed the new players of the rules and encouraged them to work extra hard.
He also reminded old players of the importance of the training and that they should be more focus as training will intensify in the coming weeks.
“The new players were briefed on the rules a squad player should abide by.
“We made it very clear to all that discipline is one of the important areas a player should practice.
“They were reminded that these preparations are not for some competitions in Oceania but the World Cup, the biggest football competition in their age category, so they were told to work extra hard to be fully prepared to compete,” he added.
Waita said trainings for now will focus on the players’ fitness.
Yesterday’s training is the first for this year as they resume preparations for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Trainings were conducted at the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Academy.
The national U17 hit the pitch yesterday afternoon for their first training session for this year under the guidance of Waita, his coaching team and the support of the SIFF Technical Director Felipe Arango.
The team comprised mostly of last year’s U16 players along with the new inclusions.
Eight provincial players with two new Honiara inclusions were part of the full squad that attended the first training session.