The Auckland City FC coach says a number of Solomon Islands players possess rare skills which are difficult to create.
Ramon Tribulietx revealed this in an interview with the Auckland City FC media yesterday.
He says the likes of Micah Lea’alafa, Jack Wetney and James Naka, are fast becoming rare commodities in a football world where detail is becoming everything.
Some of them are superb up front while referring to the Western United team players – Wetney and Naka.
ForLea’alafahe said, he got talent, the skills and the physicality to make this happen.
Tribulietx said some of the island players have a quality the world of football is missing now we have moved into a very structured game.
“Its more difficult now to build these players. But when you come to the Pacific you find these players brought up playing in the streets, parks or villages, in different islands, and they possess skill that is difficult to create,” he said.
Tribulietxtold the interview that the gap between New Zealand and the rest of Oceania football is closing rapidly.
Tribulietx’s team won through to their fifth consecutive OFC Champions League final on Tuesday with a narrow 1-0 over FC Gaitcha of New Caledonia but the Auckland City FC coach believes the competition has never been tougher.
“The key changes are in team structure. The Pacific teams understand they have to play as more of a collective than ever before.
“Defensively and with the ball they make it more difficult for teams to breakthrough. Some of the teams also keep the ball pretty well.
“They possess the individual skill and now its all about connecting all of those qualities together. But you’re never going to achieve anything as a team relying on just individual skill,” he said.
The ASB Premiership title-winning coach says the influx of foreign talent to Pacific clubs has benefited local players but admits there is a balance to be struck.
“I’ve seen an improvement and the amount of foreign players coming into this part of the world are also improving the skill-set of the squads overall.
“Teams like Western United have brought in a couple of decent players and improve teams in key positions that are perhaps weak.
“Obviously, Amicale is the big mover in this respect signing 12 new players for this campaign and that makes any team from the Pacific, which already has skill and talent, even better,” he said.
Such was the impact foreign players had made in last season’s OFC Champions League, Tribulietx moved quickly to add two of them to his FIFA Club World Cup squad that finished in third place in Morocco in December.
And he says the region is flush with individual brilliance, both local and foreign.
“We’ve brought in two players from Amicale’s squad from last season – Marko Dordevic and SanniIssa.
“Players from Amicale who caught the eye this year were Micah Lea’alafa, Dominique Fred and Kensi Tangis. These guys have got talent, the skill and the physicality to make it.
“Western United have three or four players up front who are superb like Jack Wetney and James Naka. These guys can score goals by themselves,” he said.
But he says the likes of Lea’alafa, Fred, Tangis, Wetney and Naka, are fast becoming rare commodities in a football world where detail is becoming everything.
The Auckland City FC coach says the next gap he would like to see closed is in the players’ comprehension of a match narrative.
“There’s quite a few players out there who could play at a very good level if they can improve their understanding of the game.
“To come from less structured football to structured football is difficult, but its what is played in the rest of the world,” he said, “its the next step.”
Auckland City FC face Team Wellington in the OFC Champions League final on Sunday 26 April at ANZ Stadium in Suva.
By MOFFAT MAMU