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SIFF President predicts bright future for youth football

SIFF President Martin Alufurai predicts a bright future for football in the ‘happy Isles’ following the successful completion of the U-12 competition at the Allan Boso National Soccer Academy.

The standard displayed had impressed Alufurai so much so that could not stop talking about the level of competition and the pool of talented kids he saw over the weeklong competition.

The U-12 competition was organized in light of the proposed regional competition for this age category which Fiji FA will host in July.

Alufurai noted the focus in the past was on the senior level with very little being done to develop the beautiful game in youth level. However, with the FIFA Goal Project which saw Lawson Tama turf upgraded to international standard and recently completed national academy, SIFF is now in the position to adopt the bottom-up approach.

“Today we have the capacity to develop football in all levels including youth through the FIFA Goal projects. Now we can organise leagues or competitions like the recent one we had here at the academy,” Alufurai added.

President Alufurai acknowledged FIFA’s assistance which helped Solomon Islands realized its dreams to adequately address youth football.

“What we’ve witnessed is just the tip of the ice berg. Youths make up the majority of our overall population – about 45 percent and this is the group we have to look after and nurture if we want our football to reach new heights.

“The quality of players we have can be likened to an un-mined gold mine and I am confident in the next couple of years, we will be seeing the fruit of the FIFA Goal Projects.”

The SIFF president also praised the Oceania Football Confederation for introducing the U-12 competition saying it will boost youth football in our region.

“We can measure our youth football development and in particular its standard through competition such as the one Fiji FA will be hosting.”

Meanwhile, a train-on squad identified during the recent U-12 competition will begin their training sessions soon. Team coach Victor Wai’ia is confident that the final team to represent the country will be named at the end of this month.

“This will give us enough time to put together a quality side to represent Solomon Islands in Fiji.”

Wai’ia had coached Solomon Islands futsal teams that toured Australia at least on three occasions in the past and returned with good results.

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