Davor Ivcevic, assistant coach and squad member of Switzerland’s beach soccer team, arrived on Monday and will take the Bilikiki through an intensive one-week training programme.
Switzerland will also participate in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which kicks off on 16 November and involves 16 of the world’s best teams.
Eddie Ngava, General Secretary of the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF), says that his goal is for the team to have the best training possible before departing for the FIFA tournament. Ngava also confirmed that SIFF has made plans for the team to arrive one week prior to the World Cup in order for Ncevic to join the team in Dubai and oversee further training and acclimatisation.
SIFF requested a professional coach through Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) earlier this year to assist the team after it won the OFC Beach Soccer Championship Tahiti Nui in August and qualified for their fourth consecutive FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
SIFF initially requested Switzerland’s head coach, Angelo Schirinzi, who ruled himself out due to commitments with their national side. Schirinzi then appointed Ncevic to help out the Solomon squad on his behalf.
Ivcevic says that his training program will largely focus on the tactical aspects of beach soccer. When asked to nominate specific areas of the Bilikiki’s play that require improvement Ncevic says he will work on the team’s defence and finishing.
“I am satisfied with the skill level of the players but I think more work needs to be done in areas like making use of space as a tactic and other advanced team techniques,” Ivcevic said.
Bilikiki team manager Rueben Oimae says that he is very happy with the arrival of Ivcevic.
“I think the team will benefit a lot from his work here,” Oimae said.
The Bilikiki will be in a training camp for the entirety of Vcevics’ visit this week and are undertaking two intensive training sessions per day.
They will face tough competition in the first round of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup after being drawn in Group A alongside Portugal, Uruguay and hosts UAE.