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Farina applauds fearless debut

Farina said the whole world have seen what the players have in them as the side received positive feedback from the people watching the games in Olympics.
“The more international football matches the various national age group teams are exposed to, the better the players would become,” he said.
Farina, who coached Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics, said in a span of two years since his arrival, Fiji had played nearly 50 international matches.
“This is in terms of the U-20 preparations for the World Cup, the U-23’s preparation for the Olympic Games, the qualifying rounds for the Olympics and the OFC Nations Cup,” he said.
“This is what teams such as Fiji and the other Pacific Island countries need.
“They need to play consistent international football to improve. Otherwise when you come up against the big boys in football it is something new.”
In its historic first appearance at the Olympics, the Fiji football side lost to Korea Republic 8-0, then went down to Mexico 5-1 after leading 1-0 at half-time before being hammered by giants Germany 10-0 in the final pool game.
Farina said he was not pleased with the total 90 minutes performance in every game.
“Competing in the first game against South Korea, we were 1-0 down at halftime and went to sleep for four minutes in the second half and found ourselves 5-0 down,” he said.
“In the second game against Mexico, we could have been 3-0 up at halftime but we were 1-0 up and then in three minutes of the second half we went 4-1 down.”
He said fitness was not the factor, as had been suggested by many people.
“It was not the lack of fitness or the lack of trying, they gave 100 per cent,” he said.
“It is lack of experience at this level and may be a little bit of concentration.
“You only get that consistent concentration by playing consistently at a higher level.
“We played very good teams there, and this is what people need to understand. I asked the boys for improvement in each game, which I think we got.
“Maybe in the last game against Germany they were a bit shell-shocked. But they did not stop trying.”
Farina was happy with the discipline level shown by the players during the games.
In previous tournaments Fijian players have been renowned for copping yellow cards and even their marching orders.
“Discipline was fantastic throughout the tournament,” Farina said.
“We had only two or three yellow cards which was good.
“People kept asking me about discipline but I had no problem with discipline this time on the field with the players.
“From my perspective the boys improved a lot. It was a great learning experience for them.
“They did well in patches against some of the best teams in the world,” he added.
For more on Fiji football visit fijifootball.com.fj


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