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Regular beach action planned

SIFF made the decision after talks with major beach soccer partner DJ Graphics Ltd and has now produced a plan for monthly tournaments to be held.
The aim of the increase in competitions is to strengthen player development and assist with the national team’s preparation for regional and global events, including the 2012 OFC Beach Soccer Championship, which is part of the qualification process for the 2013 FIFA World Cup in Tahiti.
While a full schedule is yet to be finalised, SIFF has confirmed that the plan is to hold a competition during the final week of each month involving eight teams. Two of those sides will be comprised of players from the training squad for the national team, which is known as the Bilikiki.
The matches are set to take place on weekends and the first tournament is likely to be held this month.
Bilikiki team manager Reuben Oimae and assistant coach Gideon Omokirio are spearheading the initiative and Oimae describes the proposed tournaments as vital for the development of the national side.
“The Bilikiki have been training but we need such tournaments to ensure the players are sharp and well conditioned,” he says.
“As we have learned from the recent national beach soccer championship, local competitions are a hotbed for breeding talent and we need to sustain them so that the player supply to the national team is maintained.”
The issue of player development is another area the discussions between SIFF and DJ Graphics covered. As a result of the talks, there are positive signs that a beach soccer school of excellence for young players will be established and run at DC Park, a facility owned by DJ Graphics.
Omokirio, who will act as the coordinator for the school of excellence, says such a programme needs to be set up as soon as possible so the foundations for the future health of beach soccer in the Solomons can be established.
“Grassroots development is the key for future success,” he says.
“Once we start at the youth level, we will continue to enjoy beach soccer success in the years to come because we will have a constant supply of players.”
For more on Solomon Islands football go to www.siff.com.sb

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