SFSF, Apia: Samoa National Coach, David Brand, has announced the squad of players who will tour New Zealand in late April and represent Samoa at the OFC Nations Cup/World Cup Qualifiers stage 1-group 2 tournament in Samoa on 10-19 May, 2004.
The Manumea Samoa squad will resume training at the J.S. Blatter Fields, Tuanaimato, Apia before travelling overseas in late April for New Zealand. The tournament commences in Apia on 10th May with Samoa playing host to American Samoa in its first game.
“In the end we have gone for 20 locally based players with 2 from overseas who will initially tour New Zealand,” said National Coach David Brand today.
“I will be monitoring very closely the fitness of all squad members in the early sessions next week, and a couple of the boys are being put on notice that unless 100% I will find a replacement.”
“It is now back to the reality of International Football as the count down to the qualifiers continues. Nothing below 100% commitment to the team and Samoa is acceptable and this will be made very clear to the boys on Thursday. My job now, along with Malo Vaga is to prepare a final squad of 20 players that will represent Samoa in what again is a very difficult pool.”
” A standard has been set in recent months, that, not only has to be maintained, but improved upon. This challenge is going to be a tough one considering the events of recent weeks. Despite the underdog tag still remaining, expectations are running higher than ever and I will be looking for the squad to achieve our goals,” he commented.
“Maybe there are one or two surprises and a couple of boys can count themselves unlucky but others players have put their hand up for selection in training and games. As we know some have made themselves unavailable for a variety of reasons, which is naturally disappointing. I am not going to dwell on that and I am happy with the overall balance of the side, which has a blend of youth and experience. I feel the spirit is good which is a very positive sign.”
At this stage plans for the departure of the squad for the overseas camp are being prepared and the information and full itinerary will be issued once confirmed.
The 22-man squad is as follows and includes 20 locally based players, plus 2 from overseas.
The 20 locally based players will train over the coming weeks with the final competition squad to be named at the end of the NZ preparation tour, subject to form and fitness.
Fatuvalu Numia Gk – Lepea
Sakaria Fuimaono – Lepea
Otto Hunt – Vaitoloa
Afasene Tusitala – Lupe ole Soaga
Tofi Tumua – Moamoa
Bevan Kapisi – Central
Kiwi Timo – Sogi
Sio Tagamoa – Kiwi
Ki Anufe – Lepea
Pualele Lamana – Central Utd
Etueni Tywell – Sogi
Lene Epa – Vaivasetai
Laifaele Pesa – Moamoa
Mark Ioane – Sinamoga
Amby Asafo – Vaipuna
Peko Victor – Sinamoga
Joe Mapusua – Pansa, Am Samoa
Junior Michael – Pansa Am Samoa
Pasi Schwalger Gk – Preston Lions, Australia
Tama Faasavalu – Central, New Zealand
Dennis Price – Kiwi
Lionel Taylor – Kiwi
Players on standby
Iupeli Ioane – Sogi
Jerome Taua – Lupe ole Soaga
Joseph Hoeflich – Kiwi
Grant Toma Auvele – Sinamoga