BY ROMULUS HUTA
THE Solomon Islands national under-17 futsal team will open their campaign in the upcoming Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Youth Futsal Tournament against American Samoa and New Zealand in the opening day on October 4.
The Oceania Youth Futsal Tournament will take place October 4-7 at Bruce Pulman Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
Solomon Islands along with six other Oceania nations are participating.
The others are American Samoa, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
The tournament’s fixtures were made known after it was released on the OFC website this week.
After the first two matches on the opening day, another two awaits them on October 5 against New Caledonia and Samoa respectively.
On October 6, Solomon Islands will play against Vanuatu in the morning part before wrapping up their campaign against Tonga later in the evening.
Looking at the schedules above, the competition is being conducted in a round-robin format with the overall winner qualifying for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, where futsal will make its debut.
The management of the Solomon Islands national youth side has already named its final squad and boasts some new upcoming talents including the Bulkshop Under-16 competition golden boot winner Raphael Lea’i.
The team will leave the country on September 21 where they will they make a stopover in Australia to play some warm-up matches against Dural Warriors in Sydney before flying across to New Zealand on September 30 ahead of the tournament kick off on October 4.
The final national U-17 12-man squad and officials are as follows:
1 Charlie Lauwale (goal keeper)
2 Lordrick Afia (goal keeper)
3 Jnr Laufunua Mana
4 William Tahariu
5 Raphael Leai
6 Travis Sau
7 Calvin Do’oro
8 Leon Kofana
9 Christian Manu
10 Junior Usua
11 Ronaldo Cromwell
12 Franster Sura’au Rukumana
1 Sammy Laui
2 Enoch Poloso
Stanley Puairana (Head Coach)
Dickson Kadàu (Assistant Coach)
Nacanieli Seru (Team Manager/Chaplin)