Fate of Naka, Kini, Nawo for Aussie tour on the line
The head coach of the national men’s football team, Moses Toata has expressed disappointment against Vanuatu’ Amicale FC manager, Andrew Leong for luring three of the country’s national players ahead of their Australian tour.
Toata told Star Sports yesterday that Amicale has requested for the three players James Naka, Freddie Kini and Joses Nawo to team up with Amicale in preparations for the upcoming Oceania Championship.
He said though he respected each player’s decision, the timing was not right as they are engaged in a very important preparation for the country’s participation in the first stage of the Oceania World Cup Qualifiers.
The trio flew over to Vanuatu on Saturday to join Amicale for their pre season and preparation for the O’league.
Toata said SIFF has sent an email to Leong and ask if the boy’s can go to Vanuatu for the O’league preparations after they return from the National Team Tour but Leong refused to differ travel arrangements adding the boy’s need to be with Amicale now.
“I was informed of this only after I have selected a 22 man squad to travel to Sydney.
“We have applied for the Australian visas and it’s impossible to change as you know getting Australian visa takes 15 working days.
“The only option now is to fly them from Vanuatu to Sydney to join the Team if possible.
“But it will mean they will not be part of the Team preparing for this tour.
Asked if they are still regarded as part of the team, Toata stressed it does not really matter if they are part of the tour or not.
“For me, there is no difference they join us in Sydney or we go without them.
“I don’t care if they are the best players in the country; they need to be part of a prepared team.
“This is a very important tour and we have to prepare for three matches.
“To be honest, I’m very disappointed and I will discuss with SIFF and make a decision in the next few days as to whether they are in or out.
The national men’s team has been confirmed to play some friendly matches, one against Sydney FC and three other clubs.
“Given the duration of the tour which is just over a week, I opted to have three matches.
“It is hard to play three games in a week but its good preparation for the team.
“For me the result is not important but whatever we get out of this tour will definitely give me something realistic to work on and hopefully give the boy’s a good experience at a different level of football environment,” he said.
By CARLOS ARUAFU