Felipe says all teams will be tough
HEAD Coach for the men’s national football team, Felipe Vega Arango says all other teams in group A of the OFC preliminary competition on the road to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ will be tough.
Solomon Islands are drawn into Group A alongside Tahiti, Vanuatu and the winner of a preliminary match playoff between Tonga and Cook Islands.
Coach Felipe told media during a press conference yesterday that other countries are also gearing up preparations for the qualifiers so the competition will be very competitive.
“To be honest, it will be tough.
“This is the World Cup Qualifiers; every country wants to win so every country we’ll be well prepared.
“I believe every country faces the same problem of the Covid-19 Pandemic and haven’t played any international matches except for New Zealand because they have players playing abroad in active leagues so everyone else is pretty much in the same place,” he said.
The Spaniard also admitted they have limited time left for preparation.
He said due to the short time left, selected players must show commitment towards training.
He strongly urged the selected players to remain with the team until they take a short break before resuming early next year.
He added no players are allowed to leave the team and go back to the provinces for football competitions during the festive season.
“We don’t have much time to prepare because we have holidays coming up and also the recent protest has forced us to cancel some of our trainings.
“We were supposed to start our training camp last week so we’ve already missed days of training; we need to train as much as possible in the time we have left.
“We need the players to have full commitment to the national team, no village competitions, they need to remain together and train.
“We need to have a competitive team so we need to stick together, prepare and everybody needs to work hard,” he added.
A total of 25 players are currently part of the national training squad.
The OFC Preliminary Qualifiers will be played in a single tournament format in Qatar from March 14th to 30th next year to determine the lone team from Oceania for the intercontinental play-off.
By CARLOS ARUAFU