BY ROMULUS HUTA
SOLOMON Warriors coach Moses Toata says they have a big task at hand given his boys were drawn against the might of the Oceania defending champions Auckland City in the Oceania Champions League quarterfinal.
The vital match-up is being outlined as the third quarterfinal and is set for 2pm kick off at the Kiwitea Street in Auckland, New Zealand on April 8.
Toata, who is a bit disappointed why Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) did not invite any of their representatives to attend the draws held at the regional governing football body’s secretariat in Auckland yesterday, expressed that the road ahead is quite a tough one.
“I think firstly, the draw is a very important part of the competition. I don’t know why we were not represented.”
However, Toata said they are ready for anything.
“Now we have a big task ahead. It’s not going to be easy to try and beat the current OFC Champions. But I think we have some chance.
“We can beat Auckland if we prepare well.”
Toata added that the focus at the moment is fitness discipline.
“I think we will need to work hard on our conditioning which is the modern term for physical fitness before the big quarterfinal match-up.
“Fitness is an important component of my game style and we need to achieve that in six weeks,” said Toata.
Warriors qualified into the quarterfinals after finishing as runner-up behind AS Dragon of Tahiti in the Group B competition held in Papeete last month.
Warriors’ qualification into the last eight emerged as a hard-fought one where they had to come back to win the final two group matches against AS Lossi and AS Dragon respectively to qualify following an opening match day loss to Erakor Golden Star.
While the quarterfinal showdown is still a month away, Warriors will use the Telekom S-League (TSL) championship series which will kick off this Sunday as part of their preparation.
“We have the TSL knockout starting this weekend so we will use this for our preparation towards the quarter final match against Auckland City.”
Should Warriors get through in the quarterfinal match against Auckland City, they will play the winner of the first quarterfinal match between Team Wellington and Lae City Dwellers in the semifinal set for April 21.
Meanwhile, fellow Solomon Islands rep Marist will play Nalkutan in the second quarterfinal on April 7 at Korman Stadium in Vanuatu.