Fiji plot beach success

The squad will go into camp this Sunday as Khan steps up his preparations for the event, which will be held in Tahiti from February 22 to 26. There is much at stake for the four participating teams as the winner will go on to represent Oceania at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2011, set to take place in Ravenna, Italy during September.
Fiji will be joined at the Oceania qualifiers by defending champions Solomon Islands, reigning runners-up Vanautu and hosts Tahiti.
The Bilikiki, as the Solomon Islands side is known, have dominated past tournaments and will go into this year’s edition as hot favourites. The Bilikiki have represented Oceania at four consecutive FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups since 2006 and posted a 7-6 win over Uruguay, then ranked fourth in the world, at the 2009 event.
Fiji took part in the last OFC championship in 2009 and posted a fourth place finish after losing 6-3 to Tahiti in the 3rd/4th play-off.
But Fiji Football Association technical director Saiyad Ali believes there is plenty of talent in the current crop and is backing them to challenge for the title this time.
“I had a meeting with Intiaz and we have mapped out our plans,” Ali says. “It is more straightforward for Fiji to qualify for the Beach Soccer World Cup than other tournaments as this code does not require as many tactics and techniques as futsal and the 11-a-side game.”
Ali adds that fitness will be a major focus of the team’s preparations for Tahiti 2011.
“Players need to be fit and able to adapt to the code quickly. Most of our squad members are occupied with their districts and that should keep them fit as we prepare for the play-offs,” he says.
Khan’s side has been drawn to meet Solomon Islands in the tournament’s opening game and will go on to face Tahiti on day two, before squaring off against Vanuatu on day three.
The fourth day of action will see the sides finishing first and second on the points table fight for a World Cup place in the final, while the other two teams will play-off for third.
Fiji squad for OFC Beach Soccer Championship Tahiti 2011
Simione TAMANISAU Rewa
Epeli SAUKURU Rewa
Archie WATKINS Rewa
Esava NAQELECA Suva
Benaminio MATEINAQARA Navua
Sheik MOSHIN Navua
Rajinesh RAJU Navua
Ratu Josefata DUGUCAGI Nadi
Kamal HASSAN Lautoka
Alvin AVINESH Lautoka
Valerio NAWATU Lautoka
Samuela DRUDRU Lautoka
Luke RAWADAMU Nadroga
Sanaila CAGAICA Nadroga
Maciu DUNADAMU Labasa
Taniela WAQA Labasa
Sandeep NAIR Labasa
Pita BOLAITOGA Labasa
For more on Fiji football go to www.fijifootball.com.fj

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