BY ROMULUS HUTA
SOLOMON Warriors has named its 18-man travelling roster for this weekend’s quarterfinal match up of the Oceania Champions League in New Zealand.
Warriors will depart Honiara today to play reigning Oceania champions Auckland City at Kiwitea Street scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Coach Moses Toata has included a new face on this tour.
He is goalkeeper Loea Mani Taisara.
Taisara replaced reserve goalkeeper Joseph Komu who sits this one out through injury.
Komu was a key member of the Warriors line-up during the Group B stage competition in Tahiti.
Following Abraham Izomo Bird’s dismissal in the first match, Komu stepped in to help propelled Warriors to a massive 6-1 win over AS Lossi of New Caledonia in the second match.
Toata confirmed yesterday that due to injury, Komu will be replaced by Taisara on this tour.
Warriors also acknowledge the presence of defender and Ni-Vanuatu international Jason Thomas on this trip.
Thomas missed out during the group stage competition due to visa issues, leaving Warriors to fly to Tahiti with only 17 players.
Meanwhile, Auckland have been crowned regional champions nine times and present a tough challenge for Warriors.
Toata knows Auckland will be tough but is also confident his side can upset if they manage their preparation well.
“First we need to get our mindset into a winning mindset,” Toata said.
“We need to forget that Auckland City is the champions.”
Toata said the team needs to work on their weaknesses before their April 8 match.
“I’ve picked up a few weaknesses we [have] and I think we need to step up on our fitness to compete at the next level,” he said.
Toata also said the Warriors will look to strengthen their defence
“Generally my players are a group of very attacking minded players but we need to balance our game.
“We need to balance the defensive aspect of our game so that we can avoid conceding goals if we are to beat a big team like Auckland City,” he said.
Solomon Warriors travelling squad:
1.Abraham Izomo Bird 2. Loea Mani Taisara 3.Hasddis Aengari Gagame 4.Fred Fakari 5.Milton Bata Furai 6.Allen Peter 7.Emmanuel Poila 8.John Alick 9.Judd Molea 10.Molea Tigi 11.Augustine Samani 12.Jerry Lou Donga 13.Gibson Samo Daudau 14.Albert Fakaia Witney 15.Kensi Tangis 16.Ian Hugh Paia 17.Gagame Feni. 18. Jason Thomas
Coach: Moses Toata