FIFA development officer Glenn Turner believes Fijians are superb athletes who can be nurtured and developed at an early age to become world stars.
Turner was facilitating a three-year development plan workshop for Fiji FA and district officials in Nadi Saturday.
He said there needed to be a structure in place to monitor the development and progress of Fijian footballers.
“I always said without doubts there are many talents here on the island, you have some superb athletes, I am not a huge rugby fan but I watch your team in rugby 7s,” he said.
“And as a soccer follower, I have seen that senior teams in Fiji there are lot of indigenous Fijians whereas the junior teams there are a lot of Indian-Fijians.
“Mainly because they concentrate on education but to be able to harness those players earlier would be important.
“It would be great to see these districts and the Fiji FA in fostering the development of these players during their early years because in all sports is really key to success.”
Turner said Fiji FA and affiliated districts should work together to take the sport forward.
He said the aim of the development workshop was to draw up a development plan, and at the same time educate Fiji FA and district officials of their roles towards development.
“There is a need of harmonisation between Fiji FA and the districts and we need to all work together and achieve what is best for Fiji football,” he said.
“In fact the objective of the workshop is to engage Fiji FA stakeholders in meaningful and productive workshop sessions to discuss the current status needs, future development and activities to assist continued and sustainable growth of football in the country.”
Fiji FA CEO Bob Kumar said the idea to involve the district associations so they could jointly and collectively make decisions that would take the sport forward.
“This workshop will give district associations an insight of what is involved in the development planning.
“We rely in the district association for their support and the objectives are to take Fiji football forward where we find ways to strengthen our activities like the youth and women soccer,” he said.
Suva (Fiji Times)