TWO PLAYERS DROPPED

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Head Coach Felipe Vega Arango talks to the members of the training squad during their training. PICTURE ISN FILE
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National Football Team trains on

BY ELTON LONARATHA JNR

Two players of the Solomon Island national team training squad have been omitted after breaching team rules set by Head Coach Felipe Vega Arango.

The two players are Bobby Lesly and Timothy Maearasia who were name in the national teams’ training squad during the announcing of the first 25 men squad by coach Felipe Vega-Arango on July 27th 2021 at the SIFF conference room.

The duo omission comes following the ‘No village competition’ rule set by Coach Arango during his second press conference held at the SIFF conference room on December 1st 2021.

Coach Felipe had made it clear during that press conference, that no players are allowed to go home and participate in any village competitions during the holiday break.

The Head Coach had made it clear that the priority of players named in the training squad should be for the national team as they continue preparations for the upcoming OFC Preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup in March.

With only two months left to prepare, Waneagu United FC front-man Bobby Lesly and the TSL six-time champions, Solomon Warriors FC goalkeeper Timothy Maerasia are out of the training squad.

Lesly and Maerasia omission come after both players made their decision to leave the national team training squad and go home to participate in their village’s competition during the holiday break.

National team coach Felipe Vega-Arango confirmed the duo’s omission to SunSPORTS after their training session on Monday at the Lawson Tama Stadium.

“This is life and everybody has to make their own choices and I have to respect their choices,” the Spaniard said.

“For me it’s too simple, like if your give me the choice to choose between the national team and the village games, I’ll choose the national team as always.

“It’s a matter of representing your country in the national level and in world-class football,” Coach Arango said.

He said his current focus is to worry about the current team, train them and hopefully build a team that will perform at a high level.

“At the current moment, to be honest we don’t really need them,” said Felipe.

“Who decide to go, them or me? Secondly, we have the rules that everybody follow and do they show respect to the team? Actually not.

“But I don’t really care because they are grown up people and in life you made decision and all decisions have consequences.

“They have stated a very clear decision that the village games is more important than the national team and that’s fine, I respected their decisions so for me I don’t need to bring them back for it will be not that fair for the others,” he added.


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