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Vanuatu U-15 target Korea Republic opener

The team head for its second foray into this youth event after a month long preparatory camp run by coach and former Vanuatu international Moise Poida at the Teouma Academy.
And manager Stephen Felix acknowledged the long journey to China that lies ahead.
“I know it is going to be a long flight for the young boys but we hope that they will be ok when we arrive in Nanjing tomorrow morning,” he says.
Vanuatu U-15’s last outing at the Youth Olympic Games produced a 2-0 win over Zimbabwe in the Fifth Placed Playoff in Singapore four years ago.
Andre Kalselik scored a memorable double as Vanuatu swept aside their African opponents on a sweltering evening at the Jalan Basar Stadium before 2,000 supporters.
Michel Coulon, who played alongside Kalselik that night, recalls the moment that set Vanuatu on its way to an exciting victory.
“I attracted the most attention from the defenders and was not in a good position to finish, so I immediately decided to cross for Andre to complete the job.
“We played together for a long time so we had a telepathic understanding between us.
“We played a great game. I didn’t score a goal but I did my part of the job to help our side to victory and this was the most important for me,” Coulon recalls.
It was the ideal way to finish a tournament that saw Vanuatu U-15 deliver two decent performances in the group stage despite losing to the eventual gold and silver medalists, Bolivia and Haiti.
Four years on and the challenge remains no less daunting.
The squad left Port Vila for its 7,700 kilometre journey to Nanjing and is ready to take on two tough group opponents in Korea Republic and Cape Verde.
The Korean outfit coached by Young Joon Choi is littered with starlets attached to professional clubs including four players each from Pohang Steelers and Ulsan Hyundai FC.
But the Vanuatu U-15 squad is headlined by a group of exciting attacking talent of its own with Samuel Namatak, Terrence Roberts, and Leo Rau charged with leading the frontline.
Defenders Benson Rarua, William Kai, Brian Taut, Zolostino Tanghwa, Dick Seth, and Johnny Iwai stand before first choice goalkeeper Jelson Toara.
The reserve goalkeeper is Rufare Kalsal.
Stephen Felix’s side is bolstered in midfield by Micah Tommy, Waiwo Kalmet, the aptly named Ronaldo Wilkins, Rene Kuse, Jules Bororoa, Lauren Saurei and Vira Womal.
Vanuatu U-15’s first match is on August 18 when Poida’s outfit face Korea Republic at Jiangning Sports Centre Stadium in Nanjing.
Following their opening match, Vanuatu U-15 take on Cape Verde Islands three days later.
The semi-finals take place on August 24 with the fifth place playoff booked for the next day.
The gold and bronze medal matches wrap up the tournament on August 27.

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