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COOK ISLANDS – AGE GROUP CHAMPS

The Cook Islands Football Association’s under 15 boys and under 16 girls national soccer championships are gearing up to be a huge event starting this Saturday 21 April.

The tournament will feature teams from the outer islands of Aitutaki, Mitiaro, Mauke, Atiu and Mangaia plus teams from the three vaka or districts on Rarotonga -Takitumu, Te Au O Tonga and Puaikura.

All of the outer islands excluding Mauke, and the three districts on Rarotonga will field two teams each.

The tournament will be an exhibition of the country’s top and most talented players in the two age divisions, which will allow spectators and supporters of soccer to watch quality games.

While the teams compete for the coveted top place, selectors will be scouting the competition for players who will receive scholarships to train and develop their skills for the under 17 world cup qualifiers in 2008.

This means that outer islands players who receive a scholarship will live and train in Rarotonga with the full support of CIFA.

Teams from the outer islands started arriving on Rarotonga for the event this week with an opening function scheduled for tomorrow at the CIFA academy in Matavera.

The first round of games will begin on Saturday starting at 12.30pm. Games will take a break on Sunday and resume on Monday continuing right through to the finals on Saturday 28 April.

Games will start at 12.30pm throughout the week with the exception of the finals on Saturday 28 April.

With the outer islands teams on the island during the national tournament, CIFA will run technical meetings during the week long competition to update coaches on new technical and tactical skills which they then can apply to their respective teams.

As it will be the school holidays, this tournament will be great entertainment for kids and families to show parochialism and support a team

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