The influx of non-Oceania players in the OFC Champions League football competition just compliments the tremendous talent that is around the region.
These are the words of OFC media and communications head, Gordon Glen Watson, who believes the 2014 edition of the champions league, will be no different.
Team playing the in the group stages, to be played in Ba and Lautoka, has recruited from all over the world to bolster their teams.
However, Watson said the Oceania players are the ones to look out for.
“The impact Alick Maemae has had in Vanuatu, of course he is from the Solomons. Benjamin Totori and Roy Krishna, who has made a lot of success for himself at Waitakere United, which led to a contract with Wellington Phoenix. The international players come in and add something in my opinion. But of course it works in microcosm in our region. Some of the examples I spoke of earlier show that.”
Meanwhile, 2011 OFC Champions League finalist, Amicale FC is confident about its chances in this season’s edition of the regional competition in Fiji.
With players from different parts of the world and a newly appointed Australian coach, the top Vanuatu club is ready to play to their full potential.
Coach Nathan Hall believes the extensive pre-tournament build up his side has played will help them in the matches against defending champions Auckland City, Nadi and AS Dragon.
“We have made some pretty big changes to the squad and brought in lots of new players so combinations and getting players to understand each other takes time,” he told OFC Media.
All in all, there is a lot of desire, determination and hunger within the squad at the moment and here’s hoping we can carry that energy into the OFC Champions League Group Stage and do the people of Vanuatu proud.”
2011 golden boot winner Fenedy Masauvakalo will again be leading the attack for the side while veteran goalie Chikau Mansale will be guarding their goalmouth.
Fijians; Ilaitia Tuilau, Esava Naqeleca and Shivan Swamy together with Alick Maemae, Nelson Sale and Jack Wetney of Solomon Islands add flair and depth to their squad while three Serbians and last season’s golden boot winner, Nigerian Sanni Issa add further experience.
“Myself and the players know that we need to get off to a good start and that one or two mistakes could make the difference between winning the group and/or finishing third or fourth,” Hall added
In its recent friendly matches, Amicale beat Fiji’s current National League leader Suva twice and drew one match.
The Champions League gets underway in Ba on Monday and the next day at Lautoka’s Churchill Park.
SUVA, (FBC SPORTS/ FIJI LIVE)