The Tahiti national beach soccer side, the Tiki Toa , have left Tahitian shores for the Bahamas as they gear up for the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Under player-coach Teva Zaveroni the side has been preparing for a year in California at the USA Beach Soccer Cup, a training camp in Switzerland, a series of friendlies against Japan and the Dubai Beach Soccer International competition.
Now six weeks from kick-off in Nassau, the 2015 runners-up have arrived in the Bahamian capital to where they will train twice a day to acclimatise to the environment and the sand.
Zaveroni has brought 14 players into the group – 11 of which were part of the team which played the final in 2015 -and although they’re newcomers Zaveroni believes they have the ability to integrate well.
Of the three, Teiva Izal wore the Tiki Toa emblem from 2012-2013 while Tuni Pihaatae travelled with the squad to Japan in September last year.
The only player yet to wear the national shirt with the side is Ariihau Teriitau, but he has extensive experience nonetheless.
Teriitau holds down the defence with former OFC Champions League semi-finalists AS Pirae and was captain of the Tahiti U-20 squad which qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2009.
The 14 will be whittled down to just 12 for the fonal competitoin with Zaveroni required to make his choice by the 14 April.
The coach opted to take a larger group in order create a more dynamic environment for the training sessions.
In addition, the side is expected to travel to El Salvador to take part in the Copa Pilsener 2017 from the 13-15 April
There, they will play Central American champions Panama, Ecuador and their hosts El Salvador at Costa del Sol beach soccer stadium in La Paz.