The Western province’s ‘Western Turtle football team’ say they are ready for the upcoming Solomon games to be held in Honiara this July.
Western turtle head coach Chris Douglas said that the team selection had been finalized and his boys are in the final stage of their preparation for the games.
He said that they are currently working through friendly matches and improvements continue to be made, but said he is happy with the progress they have been able to accomplish as a team and is confident the turtles will perform at their best.
Douglas said that it has been difficult starting with a new team altogether as this year’s turtles have been chosen out from the previously held western cup and the selection was based on their performance in that tournament, therefore his team is a new breed of players eager to get a taste of a higher level of football.
He said that while it is common to scout for players during a number of tournaments, they have had to make do with only one tournament which made the final team selection not an easy task, especially when they have had to trim the team down to only 23 players unfortunately leaving out many good players.
As result of the newly placed rule on Telekom S League players not being included in the Solomon games this has also seen additional players being left behind, but the head coach said it has given an opportunity for a younger generation of football players from the province to step up and take the challenge in representing their home province.
Coach Douglas said he is happy with the selection he has been given and hopes to bring out the full potential in his players.
When asked to respond to critics on his appointment as head coach for the western turtles, Douglas said that he is aware that such critics and concerns are always around but said he has not paid attention to such distractions and is focused on coaching his team.
Coach Douglas has been an active official in Western football but will for the first time lead the turtles to the Solomon games as head coach, and said that together with his assistants and the determination of the team as a whole he believes that they the Western Turtles are ready for the games.
The ‘Turtles’ are scheduled to arrive in Honiara a week before the games begin.
By Terence Ziru