Title-defense preparation soon

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Coach to call training for Kurukuru by end of this month

BY ROMULUS HUTA

The national senior futsal side known as Kurukuru is the reigning OFC champions. (INSERT) Kurukuru head coach Jerry Sam.

THE head coach of the national senior futsal side, known as Kurukuru, will call training soon for members of his training squad.

Head coach Jerry Sam confirmed to SunSPORTS yesterday that he is currently working on his training squad list which would soon be made known.

The training is part of their preparation toward the 2020 Oceania Futsal Championship which will double as the qualifiers for the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

Solomon Islands is the current Oceania champions with of a total of record-tying five titles won in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016.

On top of that, the Kurukurus have qualified for the past three editions of the FIFA World Cup representing Oceania in 2008, 2012 and 2016, respectively.

Jerry stated that their preparation toward their Oceania title defense would begin at the end of this month and strongly emphasised that their immediate focus would be the Australian National Futsal Championship next year.

The Australian National Futsal Championship is an annual event which usually occurs in January.

“As soon as I finish enlisting the training squad, I will call training.

“We will have a slow start, atleast twice a week for the boys.

“We’re working on big plans in the preparation for the 2020 qualifiers.

“I have big pool of players to select from and we are looking at taking things on a more serious note with our upcoming participation in the Australian National Futsal Championship next year and as well as having a line of interesting international friendlies in the pipeline.”

Jerry also expressed excitement with the availability of Captain Elliot Ragomo, who is in the country at the moment.

Ragomo help stirred local outfit Marist to winch the national futsal title last month upon his return from playing professionally in the Brazilian Liga Nacional de Futsal with club Minas Tênis Clube.

“Ragomo’s presence will help boost the morale of the young players in our training squad.

“Our captain is an inspirational leader who had already led us into three futsal world cups and he has a lot of respect.”

The other three senior Kurukuru members in the form of James Egeta, Jack Wetney and Micah Lea’alafa will also return for the national futsal side next year, according to Jerry.

“I’ve been in close contact with James, Jack and Micah as they are playing overseas at the moment and they will join training later as we head toward the qualifiers.

“The addition of these experienced names along with the new ones will help us select a very strong team for the qualifiers,” Jerry, who is also the futsal development officer for Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF), said.

Meanwhile, Solomon Islands’ Oceania close rivals namely New Zealand, Tahiti and New Caledonia have already begun their preparation months ago toward the 2020 qualifiers with the aim of dethroning the Kurukurus from the premier regional futsal title and attempt a shot at the 2020 world cup.

In April, New Caledonia and Tahiti played a three match series against each other and the latter came out winning the tie.

Last month, New Zealand known as Futsal Whites played in an invitational tournament in China against the hosts, Vietnam and Russia but lost all matches.

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