A strong showing this Saturday in the home leg of their two-match National Playoffs series against Galaxy FC will set the tone for a difficult return trip to Port Vila next week, according to RueRue FC head coach Tiel Joses.
With a big geographical divide between the two clubs – a 50 minute flight is required to get between the two venues for the National Playoffs – Joses expects the travel and support from parochial regional fans to be a key factor in the series.
Hailing from Aute Island in North Pentecost, RueRue FC will host their home match on June 18 in Luganville before heading to Port Vila to play the return leg on June 25.
Joses said his side will benefit from having the full support of the northern part of Vanuatu and he expects a big turnout from local fans in Luganville.
“If we are to have success then we need to work extra hard in the home match,” he said.
“We have our people there and have the support of surrounding areas. We have the crowd, we have everything here to make sure we win that first match on home soil.
“We are expecting a big crowd and that will give our team a big lift.”
The last time RueRue and Galaxy met was the 2021 final of the Vanuatu Football Federation Champions League, a match which secured both qualification to the Oceania Champions League and which Galaxy emerged victorious from.
In addition to his existing squad, Joses has brought in six players from the Port Vila Football Association for the two matches, which he said was a show of respect to the quality Galaxy possess.
“Galaxy is one of the best clubs in Vanuatu. They have some of the best players in the country and they are such a strong team,” Joses said.
“So we had to strengthen the team with some extra players from Port Vila for this campaign.
“It hasn’t been difficult to get everyone to work together because we have quite a good culture at RueRue.
“Everyone is like everyone else and once we meet we treat each other with respect and get on well.”