By CROFTON UTUKANA
The National U-23 men’s football team head coach Batram Suri has named the final 23 man squad that will represent the country in the OFC men’s Olympic Qualifiers known as 2019 OFC U-23 Championship.
Suri told Star Sports in an interview yesterday that it was not easy to select the final squad adding each player have their strength and weaknesses.
“To select the final 23 players from the last 27 pool of players was quite tough for me as head coach because each player have different types of strength and weaknesses,” he said.
“But at the end of the day I have to select players that can execute the game plan and strategy I have for them,” he said.
Suri also affirmed that he trusted the final squad will deliver the team’s overall objective which is to reach the semifinal of the competition.
“I have confidence in the final squad.
“Our overall objective is to reach the semifinal.
“Once we reach the semifinal the next thing that will come into our minds is grand final,” he said.
Suri’s final squad consists of two overseas based players and number of experienced players who had represented the country in the national youth teams and most recently the young players who played alongside the senior team during the recent Pacific Games in Samoa.
The two overseas players are Darol Kakate who played for Ba FC in Fiji and former U-19 Defender Junior David who recently signed up Papua New Guinea (PNG) renowned football club, Hekari United.
Other famous names in the squad are Richard Hiromana, Desmond Tutu, John Aeta, Patrick Taroga and Raynick Laeta. These players had colorful experiences with their involvement in the country’s senior national team recently.
Meanwhile, Solomon Islands was drawn into group A of the qualifiers alongside the competition’s New Zealand, America Samoa and Samoa.
Group B consist of the competition defending champions Fiji together with Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.
The competition will take place in Fiji from September 21 to 5 October 2019.
Harold NAOANIA (Marist FC)
Desmond TUTU (Henderson Eels)
Joel NANAGO (Henderson Eels)
George LEGA (KOSSA FC)
David JUNIOR (Hekari FC)
Graham TANAVOLA (The Saints)
Gagame AENGARI JNR (Solomon Warriors)
William KOMASI (Malaita Kingz)
Richard IROMANA (KOSSA FC)
Alick KITALO (CY Strikers)
John AETA (Marist FC)
John OGE (Sunbeam FC)
Augustine WAITA (Henderson Eels)
Thomas AMASIA (Marist FC)
Frank KABUI (Malaita Kingz)
Patrick TAROGA (Marist FC)
Molis GAGAME (Western United)
Rodney SURI (Henderson Eels)
Steven MAELASI (Real Kakamora)
Tuita MAEOBIA (KOSSA FC)