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Pride drives keeper’s passion

A member of the Samoa national team when they qualified for Stage 2 of the World Cup Qualifiers, Toetu says turning out for his country causes a swell of pride.
“I’m looking forward to this one,” he says of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifiers OFC Stage 1 which gets underway in Tonga today.
“It’s exciting every time you get a call, you can’t say no because playing for Samoa means a lot.”
Being able to retain strong ties to his home nation is important to Toetu.
“I’m really proud to be Samoan and where ever you go your heart’s still for Samoa and I think it’s the same for everybody. Where the roots are you’ve always got to follow.”
Looking back at Samoa’s previous campaign, Toetu says things are different this time around.
“We’ve got a lot of new talents come up and as old bag you know, you’ve got to try and let the younger ones know that it’s going to be difficult, we’re going to have to fight for that spot,” he says.
Having done so well four years go, Samoa now have the weight of expectation on their shoulders and while he senses it too, Toetu says it’s something he and his teammates can’t spend too much time dwelling on.
“It’s pressure trying to ensure that from the last qualifier we continue to do well and get through to the second stage, but we just have to see what happens.”
And being the last line of defence means the pressure on Toetu himself is particularly high, but he’s managing.
“Of course it’s harder for me beacuse I’m the last person the ball goes past and it’s hard to see that ball going into the net,” he says.
“Sometimes you have to remember that it’s gone past ten other players before you, but like I said, it’s hard watching the ball hit the back of the net.”
Now focusing on the task at hand, Toetu isn’t taking any opponents lightly.
“I can’t say much because all those teams they’ve got some quality players, they can play,” he states.
“I’m not sure how it will go but I know it’s going to be a tough one.”

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