Young team for Pacific Mini Games

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National soccer team to resume training for Pacific Mini Games next month

BY ROMULUS HUTA

Felipe Vega-Arango Alonso

THE National soccer men’s team will resume training next month for the Pacific Mini Games in December.

Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Technical Director Felipe Vega Arango Alonso, who had been re-assigned for the head-coaching role for the Pacific Mini Games, said according to his time frame, training will resume during the second week of October.

During a press conference held at the SIFF Academy yesterday, Alonso said he is looking at naming all young players for the Games.

“The team will consist of only a few old players but the rest will be young players.

“Among the few other old players is captain Henry Fa’arodo, who had already indicated that this year will be his final playing year for the national team.

“Apart from that, I will only take in players who are 26 years old and less,” the Spaniard said.

The Pacific Mini Games will be held in Port Vila, Vanuatu and will run from December 4 to 15.

Soccer is one of the 14 codes named to represent the country at the regional sporting event.

According to the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands’ (NOCSI) National Justification and Selection Committee (NJSC), our national soccer team is among the top medal prospects in the Games.

This follows their recent impressive run in the Oceania World Cup Qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 where they reached the final and only to be stopped by New Zealand over a two-legged fixture.

National soccer captain, Henry Fa’arodo will be using the Pacific Mini Games as his last time to represent the country in international matches, though he is still keen on playing at the club level.

Fa’arodo’s retirement from international matches will put end to a career that stretches 15 years back since making his debut in the 2002 Oceania Nations Cup in New Zealand.

During an interview with SunSPORTS after the Oceania World Cup Qualifying Stage 3 final against New Zealand earlier this month, Fa’arodo said while he is still keen on playing club football, he’d love to make the Mini Games as his final outing donning the green, yellow and blue jersey.

“Yes, that’s right. I have other options to take into account. For International, I would love to make the Mini Games as my last international. But again, I have to weigh up my options with the people close to me.

“But for club level, I’m still keen on playing.

“I’m still thinking about it. I have to sit down and speak to my wife, my dad and the people that matters in my life right now,” he said.

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