James Naka was unknown to football fans until he represented Solomon Islands in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifying – Tahiti 2006.
Today, Naka is the name on everyone’s lips whenever he plays for his club Kossa, the senior Solomon Islands national men’s team or on the sand for the Bilikiki Boys.
Naka shot to fame when he scored four goals against African champions Cameroon on the Copacabana inspiring the Bilikiki Boys to an historic 5-2 victory at last year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in
Rio de Janeiro.
Naka says the pressure he experienced at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Rio de Janeiro 2006 means that the Bilikiki will not be afraid of anyone at the North Shore City Council/OFC-hosted
“The Copacabana was an incredible experience and the Bilikiki Boys will be strong again. But we have total respect for our opponents and look forward to an exciting weekend of beach soccer,” Naka
Now Naka and the Bilikiki Boys will be out to make it two-in-a-row as they bid to qualify for FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Rio de Janeiro 2007 on the sands of Devonport.
Defending OFC Champions Solomon Islands bring the added experience of last year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup adventure to the Vector Arena.
Striker James Naka will be the dangerman for the Bilikiki Boys after he scored a raft of goals in the OFC O-League for Marist FC alongside fellow hitman Joe Luwi.
Both Luwi and Naka are as deadly on sand as they are playing on a grass football pitch and goalkeepers and defenders will be well advised to be on guard.
Last year’s best player for the Bilikiki Boys was Henry Koto who scored eight goals with Richard Anisua chiming in with seven goals.
How well the Solomon Islands adapt to the tag of favourites will determine what sort of performance fans witness at OFC Beach Soccer Championship – New Zealand 2007.
OFC Beach Soccer Championship – New Zealand 2007 takes place at Narrow Neck Beach Devonport July 7th and 8th, 2007.
OFC Beach Soccer Championship – New Zealand 2007
SATURDAY 7 JULY
8.30am Solomon Islands v Vanuatu
9.30am New Zealand v Tahiti
2.30pm Tahiti v Vanuatu
3.30pm New Zealand v Solomon Islands
SUNDAY 8 JULY
8.30am Solomon Islands v Tahiti
9.30am New Zealand v Vanuatu
2.30pm Loser v Loser
3.30pm Winner v Winner*
*winner qualifies for FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Rio de Janeiro 2007