DEAR EDITOR, it is interesting seeing our youths participated in the most recent Soccer tournament. I did not get to see the under 16 but I did saw almost all matches played at Lawson Tama. The following is my take on the teams;
I agree that the best team was Malaita Eagles. This team had the fitness, tactics and skills. These youths surprised me with their accurate passes and making excellent decisions in delivery of the ball either shooting at goal or defending or passing. I congratulate the eagles for a well-deserved win.
I was going for Guadalcanal and Makira for admiring their skills but unfortunately they lacked finishing. They do not have a striker/shooter resulting always in numbers 11, 9 and 6 always passing the ball to the opposite goalie.
My only comment to the Malaita coaching team was that there were not enough substitutions made. I believe the full squad has the same skills and opportunities should be given to the rest of the players. It seems the coaching staff do not trust some of the players and had to be rested throughout the entire tournament.
SIFF did not recognize the coaches during the prize giving, but the coach of the under 19 tournament to me was the Renbel Head Coach. I have observed him during warm ups before games and during the matches. He was very strategic and knows what to say to the players. Mr Renbel coach, your strategies being implemented resulted in Renbel being the fourth best and also won the golden glove, Congratulations
The other best coach was that of Central Islands Province. I think had the players have more time with him, better results could turn their way.
The opposite was seen with the Makira Ulawa and Guadalcanal coaches. These coaches stood and were shouting the whole 60 minutes. I do not know for what reason were they doing this. Were they were panicking the whole time or maybe they did not trust the players that they have been training for this competition. Malaita, Honiara and Western Coaches were different in that what I gather was they trained the players and let them do it in the field and not to be continuously disturbed with unnecessary yelling and screaming. We must not forget that these are under 19 and mostly rural players who have never experienced playing in a city with maximum crowd. Maybe these two coaches have watched the FA Premiership or the LaLiga where Managers shouted at their players. These are professional players who have the physical and mental fitness and can quickly do what is required of them even if they are under enormous pressure. Our boys cannot do such things yet and the Guale and Makira coaches need to understand.
My advice to both coaches is stop your shouting for nothing and look at how you can improve the line-up and making the right substitution when the team is under intense pressure. Don’t make substitution for granted as what Guadalcanal have always been doing resulting in losing the first eleven with unwanted results.
I was surprised when the Guadalcanal coach in the last match between Renbel put No 11 to be the centre forward/striker. This player does not have any skill in shooting. All he does is trying to dribble and never passes. The No 11 is better being a flanker so that he can set up balls. He should also be replaced instead of replacing Nos 9 and 6.
Honiara was also very good as they improved from each game until their last beating Makira 4 nil. In watching Honiara, I now conclude that selection of players needs to be done nation-wide. Despite the well-organized HFA competition, Renbel which do not even have a league and Malaita which do not have that kind of administration easily beat Honiara. This means that the players to represent the country are out there and selection processes needs to be improved. For SIFF to consider.
Wester Turtles was very interesting to watch. I’m led to think that they have some of the best forwards. Once they have the ball up front, their chance of scoring is 75 to 100 percent.
Congratulations SIFF for hosting such a successful completion. SIFF, do away with you last minute organizing and make sure all the associations are well informed to prepare their teams. I think all will agree that we want to see all the provinces represented.
Lungga, Central Guadalcanal