Kurukuru coach to name training squad next Friday for 2019 OFC title defense campaign
BY ROMULUS HUTA
THE national futsal head coach Jerry Sam will name his training squad next week.
This is to prepare for the 2019 Oceania Futsal Championship, which will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania.
Solomon Islands, known as Kurukuru, is the current Oceania champion and next year’s tournament is an important one in their title-defense.
Jerry said the training squad will be made known by Friday next week.
“The training squad will be put out next Friday after the semifinals of the SIPA futsal challenge currently underway in Honiara.
“Training will officially start on November 19.
“The squad I’m working on at the moment would be a mixture of old and new players where probably one or two players would be selected from the youth team that went to play in the recent Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. These young players’ selection into the national team training squad does not guarantee they have a place in the final team. They have to prove themselves first.
“Next year will be very crucial for us and we have drawn up tight plans in the preparations for our title defense.
“We are looking forward to a tour to Asia to prepare for the 2019 OFC Futsal Championship where we are still working on its arrangements. That’s what our preparation would be like next year,” Jerry said.
Jerry added that some teams in Oceania have already kick-started their preparations.
“We are running a bit behind time, but looking ahead, I think we still enough time to prepare. Like for now, it’s about six months left to go. But I feel that six months of preparation is still good time for us.
“For Oceania level, six months would be enough for us. Like in 2016, we did not have much time to prepare our team for the qualifiers and we have to work very hard within a limited space of four months to try and get to the top.”
The head coach outlined that he is banking on their upcoming Asian tour to help boost their preparation.
“We need the Asian tour next year to happen.
“And after playing those upcoming friendlies, I believe it will give us more confidence and will come as a boost for the young players heading into the qualifiers,” he expressed.
Meanwhile, Jerry said their preparations for next year would be an intensive one and he wants all players to be at the top level of everything before heading into the qualifiers.