The Solomon Islands national futsal squad, Kurukuru has been named for the upcoming 2016 OFC Futsal Championship in Fiji.
The final 14-man squad includes a number of experienced futsal players, the likes of Elliot Ragomo, Samuel Osifelo and Micah Lea’alafa having all represented the Kurukuru at the last FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2012.
Assistant coach Jerry Sam says the selection process was tough, with many young players challenging the veteran members of the wider training squad.
“It has not been easy for us coaches to put together this team because the talent pool we have is rich, especially considering some of the up and coming stars,” Sam says.
“However, the current crop of Kurkuru players have now reached the stage where they have excellent experience and maturity in terms of futsal, and this shows during training and test matches.
“The future of this team looks solid because the next generation of players are as promising as the current. Several are unlucky to miss out on this team but I am sure they have a place in future senior futsal teams.”
The only two new players in the squad are Alvin Hou, touted as one of the best young players in the Solomon Islands and Robert Laua, who is better known for his feats with the Solomon Islands beach soccer team.
The squad are taking part in their second training camp this week in Honiara, before heading over to Australia on 18 January to conclude their preparations for the OFC Futsal Championship.
The 2016 OFC Futsal Championship will be held in Fiji from 8-13 February and offers direct qualification to the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 for the winner.
Paul Huia (GK), Anthony Talo (GK), Avin Hou, Jeffery Bule, Samuel Osifelo, Francis Lafai, Mathias Saru, Robert Laua, Jack Wetney, Elliot Ragomo, James Egeta, Micah Lea’alafa, George Stevenson, Coleman Makau. Coach: Juliano Schmeling.
By CARLOS ARUAFU