‘Hard work pays off’

Henderson Eels coach describes Oceania Club Champions League qualification as a milestone success


HENDERSON Eels FC’s maiden qualification into the Oceania Club Champions League is a milestone achievement in the club’s brief football history, says head coach Eddie Marahare.

Speaking to SunSPORTS in yesterday’s interview, Mr. Marahare describes the achievement as well-deserving for him as an ambitious local coach and a great triumph for his relatively young side.

“Qualifying for the OFC Champions League is a milestone achievement as far as my coaching career is concern. As a local coach I always dream of taking my team to qualify to the OFC Champions League. With my team already qualified, I am just so happy to achieve this dream with a big credit goes to my players to win games and making us qualify.”

Mr. Marahare stated that the success can be best attributed to the quality of players he have in his team and so as the experience gathered himself throughout the years in the domestic competition in his coaching career.

“I spent many years with KOSSA as well as attending, many coaching courses, MA Senior coaching course, C Licence Course and in 2016 the OFC B Licence Course which I completed in the beginning of 2018. With the so many years spent in coaching in TSL, I have a lot of experience in the competition, coaching, and training and understand the level of player performance.

“I joined Henderson Eels in the beginning of the season because as a new club, they have a committed franchise Advanced Technologies Ltd, who also has set an aim to support the team to qualify to the OFC Champions League.

“I took KOSSA to 3rd place in the last season therefore this time around, I’m confident that Henderson Eels will have a chance of qualifying because there are several key players, (Joses Nawo, Tutizama Tanito, Boni Pride and Fred Kini) with qualities available in the team.

“The success was even more difficult than the first time because it take the teams to play final matches to this stage before qualifying to OFC Champions league,” Mr. Marahare, who is one of the very few high qualified coaches in the country alongside compatriot, Moses Toata of Solomon Warriors, said.

Mr. Marahare describes that this season has been a very tough one for them.

“It was a tough season since teams know very well that two spots are allocated for OFC Champions League. Therefore finishing in the top two is indeed a happy moment as a coach, because you know that your team has performed very well during the season and no pressure to play in the final match.”

The battle for the Telekom S-League title isn’t over yet despite the earlier qualification for the Oceania Champions League. The league title will be decided following the final matches this weekend at Lawson Tama Stadium.

Eels are currently placed second on the table with 27 points and two points adrift of defending champions Warriors.

Eels’ final match is against KOSSA set for Sunday 4pm while Warriors will play Malaita Kingz this Saturday at 2pm.

The outcome of these two crucial matches will determine who will finish top and who’s settling for the second spot.

“In the final game with KOSSA, I will play a full strength team to try and take maximum points out of the match to end the session on high note.

“Further, we drew in the first round 2-2 but it was a game where our players wasted too many goal scoring opportunities. We worked very hard to improve on team finishing and it paid off in our last game against Marist scoring 6-2,” Mr. Marahare stressed.

Having said all that, Mr. Marahare is hoping to get Eels beyond the Oceania champions league’s pool stage next season.

“My hope for the OFC Champions League is to qualify beyond the pool stage.

“The level of performance in the OFC Champions League is quite tough, but I am sure having few new recruits on board in the team, we’re capable of contesting and achieving positive results in the tournament.”

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