The head coach for Western United FC, the Solomon Islands representative club to the Oceania Club Champions League, Commins Menapi says United is prepared for their opening match against Vanuatu’s Amicale FC tomorrow.
In an email on Thursday Menapi said, the players are happy and are looking forward for this first match and vowed that they will do their best.
“The boys are happy and are ready for the game.
“Amical FC has been representing Vanuatu for the last previous years and I know they will be a hard team to beat.
“They too are prepared.
“What we need is your support in prayers and we will do our best this Saturday and wait for the result after the final whistle blow,” he said.
Despite being hyped up for the opening match, Menapi said all the players are aware for how important the first match is.
United’s preparations is closely guided by Menapi and other expat coaches all the way from Europe.
All coaches know that this is a very important match, one that could determine their path, whether it be for the second round or to make an early exit.
Italian coach Riccardo De Vivo shared the same sentiments when speaking to Fiji Sun on Tuesday saying the team would try their best to win.
“We have been pooled in a group of death,” De Vivo said.
“Honestly speaking, we would like to win, but the start the Fiji Airways OFC against Amicale FC (Vanuatu) will be very tough for us.
“We will give our best performance in the tournament.
“We are trying to work on a few things and we just hope everything goes according to plans,” he told Fiji Sun.
Twelve teams are drawn into three groups for the Oceania Club Champions League.
Group A consists of 2014 OFC Champions League semi-finalists AS Pirae of and Ba FC of Fiji, FC Gaitcha from New Caledonia and OFC Champions League Preliminary victors Lupe Ole Soaga of Samoa round out the group.
Group C consist of Vanuatu domestic champions Tafea, New Zealand’s second qualifier Team Wellington, AS Tefana of Tahiti and eight-time National Soccer League champions Hekari United of Papua New Guinea.
All Group A matches will be played at Govind Park in Ba, while Groups B and C will compete for glory at ANZ Stadium in Suva, which will also be the location for the Knock-Out stage of the competition.
Each group will play each other in a round robin based on a league system, the teams finishing first, as well as the best-ranked runner-up, of all three groups will contest the semi-finals.
The winner of each semi-final will progress to the 2015 OFC Champions League final.
By CARLOS ARUAFU