Oceania Football Confederation > News > Unclassified > NEW CALEDONIA &039;SELECT XI&039; TO PLAY A-LEAGUE NEWCOMERS


The Federation Caledonniene de Football  (FCF) has announced it will host Australia’s A-League newcomers Gold Coast United FC in a one-off friendly match versus New Caledonian ‘select XI’ on 27 June at the Stadium Numa Daly in Nouméa.

An invite selection of New Caledonia players will face Gold Coast in the exhibition match that will double as a preseason training fixture for the Australian professionals.

Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) General Secretary Tai Nicholas put Gold Coast United representatives in contact with FCF officials earlier this year after the Australians put out ‘feelers’ seeking fixtures to extend their preseason Asia tour itinerary. 

New Caledonia officials have confirmed that initial tickets sales have been strong for the one-off game.  In May of last year a capacity crowd of 10,000 passionate New Caledonian football fans packed the Stade Numa Daly to watch their greatest football export (former French International and Real Madrid star) Christian Karembeu’s Jubilee testimonial match. 

During the 2008 OFC Nations Cup, New Caledonia surged ahead in the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings (September) to reach 95th position after finishing second in the tournament behind New Zealand. They are currently the third highest FIFA ranked Oceania nation after New Zealand (82) and Fiji (108).

The French territory has proved its mettle in the Oceania region at a variety of levels.  In 2003, New Caledonia made the final top two playoff of the OFC U-17 Qualifying Tournament against Australia. New Caledonia also claimed the silver medal at the South Pacific Games Football Tournament the same year.

Fresh from starting in all three All Whites FIFA Confederations Cup tournament matches, 2008 Oceania Player of the Year and All Whites striker Shane Smeltz is expected to travel with his new A-League club on its ‘Asia’ tour and is likely to play in the New Caledonia fixture subject to passing a fitness test.

Big spending, and brash talking, Gold Coast owner Clive Palmer is sparing no expense as he readies his team, even making one of his fleet of private jets available to fly his squad to Nouméa as part of their four game, 12 day, ‘Asia’ tour.

The jet-setting Coast squad will fly out of Australia on 23 June and return to Australia on 8 July, three days before the Coast are set to play another headline grabbing one-off fixture, this time against English Premier League side Fulham FC.



Priscilla Duncan

Oceania Football Confederation

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Joel Tiller

Oceania Football Confederation

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