AS Manu Ura coach Pita Teivitau will look to experienced campaigners Auguste Washetine and Billy Mataitai to help kick-start his club’s 2008
The Tahitian club’s debut in OFC’s flagship club competition ended in a morale-busting 6-0 defeat to Colin Tuaa’s Auckland City FC.
With Chris Milicich and his highly experienced Waitakere United awaiting AS Manu Ura on Wednesday, Teivitau is adamant he will not change his team’s
approach to the fixture.
OFC Media spoke with Teivitau and replacement goalkeeper Jonathan Torohia ahead of AS Manu Ura’s final away match in O-League Group A about their
team’s chances on Wednesday.
Interview (English text) – read below
OFC Media: After suffering a heavy defeat to Auckland City on Saturday what approach will Manu Ura take in this next
Pita Teivitau: The same approach – there will be no changes in how we approach the match with Waitakere United. The obvious change is
goalkeeper where Daniel Tapeta will be replaced by Jonathan Torohia. We also have an injury to one of our other players and will look closely at this tomorrow.
OFC Media: What lessons did you take out of the Auckland City FC match?
Pita Teivitau: Auckland City FC is very organised and professional and we had to reorganise our team during the match even before the sending
off. Auckland City FC’s organisation was impressive and something we learned from. Their best player was Grant Young, he impressed all of us.
OFC Media: Will you plan anything different tactically for Waitakere United?
We will try to play the same way as we did on Saturday against Auckland City and if we need to change for the home matches, according to how
Wednesday’s match goes, then we will.
OFC Media: Which of your players were you pleased with on Saturday?
Pita Teivitau: Torohia, Billy Mataitai, Jean-Yves I was happy with. They were physically active and busy and delivered a good
OFC Media: What are your thoughts on Tahiti’s performance at the XIII South Pacific Games?
Pita Teivitau: I had six or seven players in Samoa but didn’t see many of the matches and one of them is Daniel Tapeta. I heard that the
performance was average.
OFC Media: Auguste Washetine played well on the weekend – what are the key strengths of his abilities?
Pita Teivitau: Saturday wasn’t Auguste’s best game even though he has played three Division Federale matches. But he is a god player for AS
Manu Ura and he brings a lot to the team and he has been selected for the Tahiti national team at the XIII South Pacific Games. I’m really happy with Auguste. Auguste is from Noumea and not from
Tahiti and he’s trying to become part of the team despite this difference.
OFC Media: Has the O-League affected your Tahiti Division Federale hopes negatively?
Pita Teivitau: We took part in the O-League in 2005 when I was involved with AS Pirae. I cannot compare experiences because the two teams were
different. Auckland City FC is very strong and there is a big gap regarding the performance, management, and tactics.
For AS Manu Ura, we have to work hard at these qualities. Even coaching the team, I am alone. Auckland City FC has two or three different coaches –
one specifically for the goalkeeper and two for the players. This is a drawback and disadvantage for us.
There is a difference when you have good management structure.
OFC Media: Will you pack the defence for Wednesday’s match?
Pita Teivitau: We will not base our game on defence and we will play the same way we did on Saturday. We may change on the spot according to
what I see during the game. I have never seen Waitakere United play before so we will see. I have heard Waitakere are stronger than Auckland City FC, so we will have to adapt. But we will have to
OFC Media: Can you retain the Tahiti Division Federale?
Pita Teivitau: I hope so. Before I came we were top of Division Federale so out of nine, we have eight points, this is the form that qualified
us for the O-League.
Jonathan Torohia (above right) was substituted into the match against Auckland City FC following the sending off of captain and goalkeeper Daniel Tapeta. Jonathan
Torohia spoke to Beatrice Tchen Pan about the challenge of being thrown into a match against one of the best club sides in the region and Wednesday’s O-League showdown against Waitakere
OFC Media: What was it like to come on in such a difficult situation when Daniel got sent off?
Jonathan Torohia: It was hard and it was a pity we had to play with ten players. Daniel is the captain and if we were playing with eleven we
would have had a better result. It is a pity for the team and we had to play harder but it was not enough.
OFC Media: Do you expect to be under extra pressure on Wednesday?
Jonathan Torohia: I don’t know about being under extra pressure. It’s actually a good thing for us because it’s a good opportunity to play
O-League. Not everyone plays in the O-League so we have to take this opportunity to play, so it’s more about an adventure for us rather than being under pressure.
OFC Media: What will you consider to be a successful performance on Wednesday?
Jonathan Torohia: We will have to have more sharpness to be physically fit. The strategy and techniques are from the coach, but once we take
the field it is our game. Personally, it will be like every game I have played.
OFC Media: Can Manu Ura cause a major upset against Waitakere?
Jonathan Torohia: I don’t think we can cause a major upset. So even though the game on Saturday was a defeat we will have to go back to the
basics and start again. We want to have a good game before going back to Tahiti.
OFC Media: Which goalkeepers do you admire most?
Jonathan Torohia: My favourite goalkeepers are Petr Cech and Iker Casillas and Mickael Landreau.
OFC Media: Who will win the 2008 O-League this season?
Jonathan Torohia: We will see in February, but right now I don’t know.
OFC Media: Has playing in the O-League affected Manu Ura’s Division Federale defence?
Jonathan Torohia: Playing O-League will affect the defence of Manu Ura’s title a lot because these matches are very physical and we are perhaps
not prepared for this.
OFC Media: What qualities will be needed to defeat Waitakere?
Jonathan Torohia: The qualities needed to defeat Waitakere – we have to be physically ready and battle in the challenges and control the ball.
Keeping the ball is what we need to work on.
OFC Media: Are there any players in the Waitakere team you have heard of before or fear?
Jonathan Torohia: I have never heard of the players from Waitakere United, so we will see on Wednesday.
OFC Media: Who do the younger Manu Ura players turn too for advice?
Jonathan Torohia: Daniel Tapeta, Billy Mataitai, Jean-Yves Li Waut – all the older players who have been around the team for some time for the
young players to learn good habits from. These are the key players that can bring a lot to the young players with their experience.