TWENTY-three players will travel to Fiji for their two friendly matches.
Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Technical Director, Spaniard Felipe Vega-Arango had revealed this.
The players will travel for the two international friendly matches next week.
Vega-Arango who is currently conducting trainings for the men’s national squad told Star Sports yesterday that they are currently 26 players undergoing training and three of them will have to remain.
However he calls on the players to keep their heads up and keep training as chances are still there.
He said players must behave like professionals if the Solomon Islands level in football is to be raised.
“I was able to watch a number of players left out of the first selection so I took some people out and some players in.
“Right now we have 26 players but for the trip to Fiji will be travelling with 23 players and that means three players will stay at home.
“I told them to keep up because when I come back from Fiji maybe someone who goes to Fiji will be left out.
“If we want to raise the level of the Solomon people, they need to behave like professional players.
“In the Spanish national team for example if the coach doesn’t takes you today that doesn’t mean he can’t take you tomorrow.”
Vega-Arango has faith in the squad despite the short time he came in for their preparation and praised the squad for their commitment to training.
He added the inclusion of Micah Lea’alafa and Benjamin Totori who are currently overseas will be a boost to the squad.
“So I have faith in them and I am really proud of how they are training, they are doing a wonderful job and they can see we are getting better.
“I am really happy because Micah Lea’alafa is coming to join the team.
“He is expected to arrive on Thursday or probably Friday he is coming to training.
“He is going to Fiji as well and Benjamin Totori who is in New Zealand and is going to meet the team in Fiji and also for the two PNG games.
Vega-Arango believes the friendlies with Fiji are going to help with their preparation for the third stage of the World Cup Qualifiers in PNG next month.
“Even though they are friendly matches, it is the international FIFA games and I know Fiji is going to try to push.
“It is good because you will be able to see the stage of the team and see the players on how they respond on the pitch.
“Especially Micah is going to play so it is positive to see how he will influence the game.
“But to be honest when we go into friendly matches the most important thing for me is not about the score, it is the team’s chemistry and most important I don’t want anybody to get injured,” the Spaniard said.
By CARLOS ARUAFU