Training for 2019 Oceania Futsal World Cup Qualifiers begin today
BY ROMULUS HUTA
NATIONAL futsal coach Sam Jerry has named a 19-man train-on squad for the senior Kurukuru side on Sunday.
This is to prepare for next year’s Oceania qualifiers for the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania.
The effort to begin an earlier preparation for the regional qualifiers is vital for Kurukuru’s title-defense campaign.
Solomon Islands have won the Oceania futsal crown five times following successes in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016, respectively.
Inspirational captain Elliot Ragamo, Samuel Osifelo, George Stevenson and overseas-based duo in the form of James Egeta and Micah Lea’alafa headlines the roster obtained by SunSPORTS yesterday.
Those five names appeared to be only surviving members of the squad that won the country’s maiden Oceania futsal title in 2008 at Suva’s Vodafone Arena in Fiji.
Other senior experienced players who are also enlisted include Jeffrey Bule, Coleman Makau, Alwin Ray, Alwin Hou, Mahlon Sia, Anthony Talo and Junior Kasute’e while the remainder of the list are all new members.
Solympics goalkeeper Charlie Ata becomes the only member of the national under-18 futsal side that had received promotion into the senior Kurukuru side. Other notable members such as top goal poacher Raphael Le’ai, Leon Kofana, Franskter Rukumana and captain Junior Mana, apparently, did not make the list.
Coach Jerry said the team will officially begin their training this afternoon at Multipurpose Hall.
“We will train three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3pm to 5pm.
“This is just a training list. It’s not final. Some more players can be drafted in later. I’ve named a mixture of old and young players to begin our preparations.
“All players named must attend our first session today,” Jerry said.
Jerry warned experience players in the national team not to rest on their laurels since the country is blessed with a rich pool of emerging young talents.
“Most of our experience players are at their peak now but they need to show us that they are still valuable to the team.
“We have so many young players who are dreaming to wear the national jersey so it will be a difficult task to select the final squad,” Jerry added.
Jerry stated that the selection panel have picked players for the training squad based on performances and game understanding, strongly taking into considerations the technical and tactical aspects of the game.
Meanwhile, plans are already in place to send the national futsal side to Asia for international friendlies as part of their preparation towards the regional tournament next year.
KURUKURU TRAINING SQUAD
Anthony Talo (Marist)
Charlie Ata (Solympics)
Cliff Sasau (Koloale)
Paul Laki (Marist)
Elliot Ragomo (Marist)
James Egeta (Queensland – Australia)
Micah Lea’alafa (Auckland City – New Zealand)
George Stevenson (Kooline)
Coleman Makau (Kooline)
Alwin Hou (Kooline)
Samuel Osifelo (KOSSA)
Mahlon Sia (Mataks)
Alwin Ray (Marist)
Jeffrey Bule (Marist)
Charlie otainao (KOSSA)
Junior Kasute’e (KOSSA)
Ellis mana (Guntimak )
Benjamin Mana (Guntimak)
Arnold Maeluma (Marist)