Marist FC preparing for Team Wellington
By Taromane Martin
MARIST FC Head Coach Jerry Allen said yesterday’s friendly match with TSL winners and fellow OFC Champions League qualifiers Solomon Warriors FC was a much needed one as both teams continue their preparation for the competition.
Speaking after their friendly match yesterday Coach Allen said Marist is aiming high, looking for a win or draw in their first match against Team Wellington on February 24.
“I’m really happy with the friendly game. In fact we both needed the friendly game because we don’t have the chance to go out and play friendly matches,” he said.
“The only way is to do it here. From there it will help us coaches measure where the combination is at. So yeah the friendly match is good for our preparations to host the OFC Champions League here.
“I don’t care about the result but I wanted to see their organization whether the boys still remember them or have already forgotten them.
The friendly match also gave Coach Allen the opportunity to test his young players which he said gives him the chance to work on his combination.
“I started the game with my experienced players first because I wanted to see how the game will go. We are preparing for Wellington Phoenix.
“As coaches we must be careful with the substitution. Make sure the player that is going in can compete and perform to the level of the boys who started.
“So yeah it’s good because this is the only time for us coaches to take note of the problem, solve them and prepare for our first game.
“I had already played them in the past when I was with Hekari so I know their football. That is why I wanted to test the first team.
Unfortunately we failed defensively. We must be organised. No sleeping because Team Wellington knows Solomon Island players weaknesses.
“We need to polish up a little, especially with our concentration but time is still on our side. That is why we need to practice it here.
“We must make sure we polish up on these things before our first game on the 24th.
“We need to improve on our offence especially during transition which I will remind them. But we must be organised that is what I care about.
“Against Team Wellington it’s should be a draw or a win no lose, that is why we start practicing getting organised now,” he said.
Coach Allen meanwhile said the club is expecting Papua New Guinea international Koriak Upaiga to arrive next week to join the squad.
Marist FC will play Team Wellington FC in their first match on February 24. They play As Magenta on February 27 before taking on Lupe Ole Soaga FC on March 2 at the Lawson Tama Stadium.