Spaniard’s first real test
SPANIARD Felipe Vega-Arango first real test is set for tonight as our national team takes on Fiji at the ANZ Stadium in Suva, Fiji.
After taking the helm as coach for the national side, Vega-Arango will eager to try out his system with his 24 traveling squad against a determined Fijian side.
The team left the country on Tuesday and reports from the camp in Suva said the boys are burning to hit the ground running.
“Team is settling in well after a long day of travelling yesterday (Wednesday) from Honiara, Nadi to Suva.
“We will be having our first training this afternoon (yesterday) after we are given a good sleep,” Team captain, Henry Fa’arodo said.
Speaking to Star Sports, coach Vega-Arango said he will start with his strong first 11.
“I need to start with the strong starting 11,” as we have only two matches to play before the crucial matches with Papua New Guinea.
He stressed in order for him to identify his strong side, rotating the players at his disposal in the two friendlies is the best he could do.
“The best thing for me is for everybody to play the same amount of minutes. If we play the first half with a strong 11, we’re 24 players, I will like to play the second half with another 11 so everybody gets a playing time,” the Spaniard said.
This paper released a final 23 players last week but due to travel booking complication, Obed Ofea was recalled into the travelling team after his omission from the initial 23.
Vega-Arango explained prior to the team’s departure, Ofea is a player he likes and with the favour to call him back, he needs to pay the coaching team back with a strong performance in Fiji.
The national side will take on Fiji today at the ANZ Stadium at 6pm local time in Suva, Fiji, 7pm our time.
As expected, a huge support from our local students studying in Fiji will provide the moral backing for our boys in today’s friendly encounter.
By SIMON ABANA