BY ROMULUS HUTA
SOLOMON Warriors will depart Honiara on April 5 for next weekend’s Oceania Champions league quarterfinal clash against Auckland City in New Zealand.
Warriors was given a big task at hand given his boys were drawn against the might of the Oceania defending champions for the April 8 date at Kiwitea street in Auckland.
The vital match-up is being outlined as the third quarterfinal and is set for a 1pm kick off (Solomon Islands time).
Warriors coach Toata confirmed that they will depart Honiara for Auckland on April 5 with an 18-man team.
The 18 players travelling squad is yet to be named.
Toata is expected to name his travelling roster in the coming days.
According to an earlier interview with Toata this month, the former national left wing forward said they are ready for anything.
“Now we have a big task ahead. It’s not going to be easy to try and beat the current OFC Champions. But I think we have some chance.
“We can beat Auckland if we prepare well.”
Toata added that the focus at the moment is fitness discipline.
“I think we will need to work hard on our conditioning which is the modern term for physical fitness before the big quarterfinal match-up.
“Fitness is an important component of my game style and we need to achieve that in six weeks,” said Toata.
Warriors qualified into the last eight after finishing as runner-up behind AS Dragon of Tahiti in the Group B competition held in Papeete last month.
Warriors’ qualification into the qualification emerged as a hard-fought one where they had to come back to win the final two group matches against AS Lossi and AS Dragon respectively to qualify following an opening match day loss to Erakor Golden Star.
Over the past two weeks, Toata and his boys have been participating in the Telekom S-League championship series and they are fortunate to have earned a place in this afternoon’s grandfinal against Marist.
Should Warriors get through in the quarterfinal match against Auckland City, they will play the winner of the first quarterfinal match between Team Wellington and Lae City Dwellers in the semifinal set for April 21.
Meanwhile, fellow Solomon Islands Oceania champions league rep Marist will play Nalkutan in the second quarterfinal on April 7 at Korman Stadium in Vanuatu.