Galaxy FC captain Seiloni Iaurel is adamant his side will not just make up the numbers when they embark on their maiden OFC Champions League campaign at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium.

Founded in Port Villa just over five years ago, it has been a rapid rise for the Vanuatu champions who are facing stern tests against their Group A rivals including hosts and 2010 champions Hekari United, current title holders Hienghène Sport from New Caledonia and New Zealand domestic champions Eastern Suburbs AFC.

Although they are more than happy to fly under the radar and to claim the underdog tag, Iaurel believes his side will rise to the challenge when it’s needed.

“It’s the first time for the team to participate in an OFC tournament, but for many of our players it’s different. We have plenty of international experience between us and I’m honoured and privileged to lead such a talented team,” said the 24-year-old goalkeeper.

Iaurel, whose previous Champions League campaigns included stints with Amicale FC and Tafea FC, believes his side is more than capable of causing upsets.

“We all know we are in a very tough group with some of the top teams in Oceania but we came here with a positive mindset and our aim is to advance to the next stage,” he said.

“We have a good mix and some players from Brazil and the Solomon Islands. It’s a team that can both attack and defend and we have a good understanding on the pitch. We communicate well with each other on the pitch and we are confident that we will do well,” added the Galaxy FC skipper.

The tournament debutants from Vanuatu will first face a daunting task against reigning champions Hienghène Sport in Sunday’s Group A opener at 12pm (local time) at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium.

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