Fiji marksman Osea Vakatalesau has been ruled out of the OFC Futsal Championship Fiji 2009 through injury and has been replaced by 18-year-old Christopher Kumar.
The championship, involving Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu gets underway on Monday next week at the Vodafone Arena in Suva and culminates in a final and 3rd/4th place playoff on Friday.
DAV College student Kumar who mends the striker’s position, got the call up from Fiji Futsal management after Vakatalesau injured his knee while playing for Ba in last weekend’s National League fixture.
Vakatalesau, who also scored in the game, was one of the big names in the Fijian Futsal squad and was expected to pair up with last year’s OFC golden boot winner Kamal Hassan in next week’s championship.
Fiji FUTSAL executive Jainendra Sukhu said Vakatalesau’s injury was untimely but is confident the team will still do well without him.
“Osea was one of the key players in the squad with a lot of international exposure but the injury has ruled him out as his knee is badly hurt and he needs time to recover.”
“We have included Christopher Kumar from DAV College Ba as a cover for him and have other good strikers in the squad also to fill in for Vakatalesau.”
“Christopher was very impressive in the western Futsal tournament and was thus selected by coach Imtiaz Khan in the 25 member team and he also made the 15 member squad but was dropped from the final 12.”
“He has a lot of potential but needs exposure and by featuring in a regional tournament like this, he will gain a lot of experience and confidence” Sukhu said.
Kumar recently featured for the victorious West 2 U-18 team at the Fiji FACT where he awed fans with his dazzling skills and blistering pace.
Story courtesy of www.fijilive.com