Lea’i and Rukumana have spots, but…
By Taromane Martin
HEAD Coach for the national under 17 futsal team Stanley Puirana says their management is expected to name their final squad for October’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina end of this month.
Coach Puirana told SunSPORTS that the squad is now into its third week of training since returning from their one week training camp in Sydney last month.
Puirana said he has been working hard on getting the boys ready mentally since they have been training without two of their key players Raphael Lea’i and Franster Rukumana, both of whom are also in training with the Stanley Waita coached national U-16 men’s football team.
He said while he feels both Lea’i and Rukumana have their spots in the team they will have to prove their fitness levels to the teams’ management in order to be included in the final 10 man squad.
“We have met with SIFF regarding the matter and we have come to an agreement for both players to attend training once a week due to their commitment with the national U-16 football squad,” Coach Puirana said.
“Personally I feel they have their spots in the team and yeah I would very much like them to be a part of the team because they are two of our important players in the team.
“They are doing their part with the U-16s and the Junior Kurukuru boys are also doing their part here in preparation.
“It will come down to their fitness levels because football is a played on a different pace while futsal is played on a much faster pace.
“We still have about seven or eight weeks left for training before we travel. This is our third week into training after returning from our one week camp in Sydney mid last month.
Some of the game plans we’ve been working are keeping possession, our transition while counter attacking and also defending.
“So far boys have shown a lot of improvements tactically, technical and we working hard on their mentally as well.
“Our management will hopefully name the final 10 man travelling squad for the Youth Olympic Games end of this month,” he said.
Meanwhile the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina is scheduled to kick off on October 1st-12th.