Fiji are feeling very confident of their changes against New Zealand when they open their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifier – OFC Stage 3 campaign in March thanks to the appointment of former Paris St-Germain assistant coach Christophe Gamel.

“I have looked some of Fiji’s games and saw a lot of potential,” Gamel said.

“I have my own methodology of work which has brought success to my teams in the past and I hope I can achieve the same with Fiji.

“My task is to build for the future and we will need everyone to be involved.”

The 44-year-old has a diverse background in European football, playing semi-professionally for various French and Italian clubs while coaching youth football teams, before receiving his UEFA Pro-Licence and moving up into international coaching with the Qatar U-17 and U-19 national teams.

Gamel’s plan is to make Fiji a more competitive side against their higher-ranked opponents in Group A, and the Frenchman is well aware that both New Caledonia and New Zealand are very dominant teams in the region.

“We all know that we are an outsider in Stage 3 as New Zealand is the best team in Oceania and New Caledonia is also better than us in FIFA ranking,” he said.

“We respect our opponents and we know that they are strong.

“Solidarity, sacrifices, hard work and our pleasure to play will be our weapons against these two teams.”

Gamel hopes to achieve all this through his ‘five pillars to develop Fiji Football’.

“First we build a new style of play and culture in all the national teams, then we develop coaches’ formations, develop a database for national players, improve international visibility of Fiji Football, and develop the women’s game in Fiji.”

Gamel will lead the national team in their two-legged clash against New Zealand in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifiers – OFC Stage 3 at Churchill Park, Lautoka on 23 March and Westpac Stadium, Wellington on 28 March.