Malaita Eagles scoops first points
By Taromane Martin
IMPROVING defensively will be the priority for the Makira Ulawa Real Kakamora Under-19 football team after losing 4-2 to Malaita Eagles in their opening match of the 2018 Youth Solomon Cup yesterday.
Head Coach Martin Housanau said their defensive blunders costed them the game yesterday but says improvement is coming with the arrival of their top defensive player yesterday from the province.
“Defensive that is the only area I see we need to improve on for our next match with Central Shields. I believe we’ll improve now that we have one of our main defenders who just arrived from the province,” he told Sun SPORTS yesterday.
Coach Housanau said winning the Youth Solomon Cup will be a bonus but the teams’ priority is giving their players exposure and experience playing at national competitions.
“Our performance was not that bad though we lost 4-2 to Malaita Eagles. It’s a good performance for us considering majority of the team are new to playing at Lawson Tama.
“Our goal as a team is for the boys to get exposure and experience and secondly if we can win the competition it will be a bonus for us.
“We still have six games left and I believe we can win the tournament however; our main objective is to gain exposure and experience,” he said.
Steve Siwa and Noel Donga were on target for Real Kakamora while Charles Mani found the back of the net twice for Eagles while Junior Formani and Alfred Kafu grabbed a goal each for the victory yesterday.
“I’m pleased with the win because as a team winning is what we want,” Malaita Eagles Head Coach Robert Wanedala said.
“As the coach I’m happy and I think our first game will help us fully identify which players can combine with whom.
“Because most of the players are home based and it was such a short time to find the combinations.
“However I’m pleased we’ve managed to win our first game and we’ll improve in the other matches because the jellying process is still going on,” he said.
Meanwhile Coach Housanau said such youth tournaments are important for the country’s football praising the SIFF Executive for reviving the initiative.
“Youth tournaments are important because if Solomon Islands want to develop good players for the national team this is where it should start.
“And it’s good to see after more than 15 years is organising such competitions in the country again and it should become a regular thing for us,” he said.
Real Kakamora will take on Central Shields 4pm today while Malaita Eagles are on bye.