HENDERSON Eels FC head coach Eddie Marahare has called for full support after his side gained qualification for the quarterfinals of the 2020 Oceania Champions League.
Eels finished second in Group B on Friday with seven points after staging a nervous 3-2 late comeback win over Lautoka FC at the Luganville Stadium in Santo, Vanuatu.
Coach Marahare posted a statement congratulating all the players and the team management for gaining quarterfinal qualification for a second year in a row, thanking supporters for their positiveness.
“I would like to congratulate the players and management of the Henderson Eels FC for the qualification for the OFC champions league quarter-finals for the second year in a row,” the statement said.
“Further to thank those supporters that show positive support to the team in our first two games and the final match against Lautoka.
“I am pleased about the team performance as we had worked hard game by game slowly but surely to improve team performance until the final match.
“I must honestly say that leading a team into OFC Champions League is not is an easy task like commenting and criticising on the FB like what many are doing,” he said.
But while being thankful, the Head Coach was not happy with the negative comments made on social media by so called critics during their group matches, saying such negative support is not helpful for neither players nor team.
He said leading a team at this level is not an easy task and strongly challenged critics to come forward and help the team if they think they can help with their preparations for the knock out stages.
“To you people the critics of the team, I thank you and ask God to forgive you for all the negative comments about the team.
“Football is a round-ball game and what goes around comes around. In other words, I take your criticism based not on what you know in football but based on your hatred to the team and dislike to me as the coach.
“While I accepted your criticism, I must honestly say that your negative comments are not at all helpful especially when leading a team in an elite OFC competition or any football competition for that matter.
“This is because of the fact that your negative comments have the potential to destroy and kill a player and the team mentality.
“I challenge you to join football and lead a team to show me what you know about in soccer, in other words, show me what your mouth is good at.
“I read in the FB and surprised that my own friends, wantoks and relatives were the ones heading the criticism and initiating negative thoughts about Eels team performance in the 2020 OFC champions league.
“On the other hand, I thank my friends and relatives that show positive support to the team all the way to the end.
“We’ll be preparing at home for the quarterfinals and on invitation this an opportunity for those of you who are good at criticising to come forward and help me in the training sessions,” the 2019-2020 TSL Coach of the Season adds.
Henderson Eels FC meanwhile are expected to arrive back after completing their group matches Tuesday next week.