Moizan: We go to Fiji to win - Solomon Star News

Moizan: We go to Fiji to win

09 March 2014

OFC Champions League Group Stage is five weeks away our focus on the competing clubs continues as we shine the spotlight on New Caledonia’s AS Magenta.

Noumea-based Magenta has enjoyed a sustained period of domestic dominance that has seen them win eight local titles in the last 14 years.

And now AS Magenta are back in the biggest club competition in Oceania with real intentions to perhaps go one better than their previous best performance – a runners-up finish to Sydney FC in 2005.

‘’It is the first thing I mention to my players when I talk to them. The OFC Champions League is a very important competition for us,’’ coach Alain Moizan says, ‘’our goal is clear: we go to Fiji to win.”

The former French international player is determined to bring AS Magenta to the highest position in the 2014 OFC Champions League edition.

To realise these lofty ambitions, Alain Moizan has called on two experienced players to reinforce his squad: national team captain Olivier Dokunengo and emblematic midfielder Pierre Wajoka.

‘’We had some difficulties last year in the midfield with ball possession but the arrivals of Olivier and Pierre will give us the experience we need,’’ he says.

Dokunengo and Wajoka are two highly decorated Les Cagous internationals having played significant roles in the 2011 South Pacific Games gold medal run.

Following the international retirement of Wajoka after the Games, Dokunengo took the captaincy to bring the team to the final of the 2012 OFC Nations Cup and a stunning result against New Zealand, current champions at this time, in semi-final with a 2-0 victory for Les Cagous.

That result reinforces the thoughts of Moizan, who was also coach of New Caledonia during OFC Nations Cup, that New Caledonia’s teams can beat New Zealand sides in the future.

‘’To beat New Zealand at the OFC Nations Cup and made them doubt during the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. That consolidated our idea that with a strong team we can snatch a victory,’’ Moizan says

Magenta is the first club to have entered the OFC Champions League and represent New Caledonia in 2005. In their first edition, they reached the final against Hyundai A-League champions Sydney FC, a game they lost 2-0.

Aged 26 at this time, Wajoka was part of the squad who created a special piece of Oceania club history for the team from Le Caillou. Wajoka participated in two more editions in 2010 and 2011.

Now nine years after his debut in the competition, Wajoka comes back and his experience, talent and people skills honed as a natural-born leader could lift morale and raise hopes that Magenta could go one better than in 2005.

Magenta face a tough task first up when they take on Ba on April 7 at Govind Park before tackling Hekari United three days later.

The New Caledonian champions finish the group stage with a fascinating clash with Vanuatu’s Tafea on April 13.