Oceania Football Confederation > News > Solomon Islands > Kurukuru reunite to face Brazil

Kurukuru reunite to face Brazil

The team has joined Brazil-based captain Elliot Ragomo, and 2016 OFC Futsal Championship Golden Boot winner George Stevenson, who have been training with professional side Minas in Belo Horizonte.
With the entire squad finally back together, Kurukuru coach Juliano Schmeling believes a match against the No. 1-ranked side in the world is the perfect test for his team as they get down to the nitty-gritty of their world cup preparations.
“These will be the most important weeks for Kurukuru before the World Cup,” Schmeling said.
“Having the full squad together again with some friendly games can make us more prepared for tough games.
“The first step is to prepare the Kurukuru to play against the best country in the world. This will help us to be more aware of what’s going to happen in the World Cup,” he added.
“It will be a challenge playing against Brazil in their home, but we need to do all we can to benefit from this opportunity because we cannot compare the level at the moment.”
Having gained a huge amount of knowledge during their time with Minas, Ragomo and Stevenson have a lot to add but Schmeling does not expect them to carry the team to victory on their own.
Instead he is hopeful that both players will pass on valuable experience and knowledge to lift the entire Kurukuru squad.
“We cannot think Elliot and George will sort out all our problems for the World Cup, but the two Kurukuru players have had the chance at a higher development amongst the best level in the world, psychologically, physically, tactically and technically.”
Throwing preparations off slightly is the unfortunate loss of goalkeeper Anthony Talo before travelling to Brazil, but Philip Mango has put his gloves on and stepped up to the position.
Schmeling is upset with the loss of their most experienced keeper but confident Mango will slot into the team well.
“Philip is a mature player with a very determined mind. I think with a few preparation games he will step into the futsal keeper role well in the World Cup,” he said.
The Kurukuru have already played two friendlies against Australia while in a camp in Sydney, losing 5-1 and 8-0, results which Schmeling says indicates the need for development and experience as a full squad.
“We have very technical players, maybe better than individual Australian players, however I can say that we will be able to compete against Australia when we have leagues in Solomon and development programmes.
“From my experience I can say Solomon will be much more competitive as a nation when they have their own futsal league and proper facilities.”
Now that the team is together, Schmeling is confident each player will bring everything they have to the table to prepare for Columbia in September.
“The Kurukuru players will do their best as this is a dream for the players and Solomon nation.”
International Friendly
Brazil v Solomon Islands
Monday 5 September
For more on Solomon Islands football visit www.siff.com.sb.

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