For the third time in his career Brian Kaltack is preparing to help Vanuatu in a FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign while being based in a different country to the rest of his teammates.
Ahead of next month’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ OFC preliminary competition in Qatar, Kaltack is training in New Zealand where he is a member of Auckland City FC.
He likely won’t get to pass a football with his national squad teammates until they arrive in Qatar, with the 28-year-old defender set to link up with the group in New Zealand while they transit en route to the tournament.
But Kaltack said the long-distance preparation doesn’t worry him so much these days, given he did similar ahead of playing in the qualifiers for the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, while based in New Zealand and the Solomon Islands respectively.
“I haven’t trained with the boys and most of the squad now are young guys who I don’t know so well. I can’t wait to meet with them to be honest,” Kaltack said.
“But I’m happy. I’m fit and feeling good and I’ve been following up on the national team’s trainings and highlights that are available and letting them know what I am doing too.
“In between Auckland City FC trainings I was able to train with my personal trainer and some of the local Auckland clubs, like Manukau United.”
Back in Vanuatu the squad is working hard with morning and evening training sessions under the watch of coach Etienne Mermer.
“We are focused on the individual players right now and we are starting to identify what we want to achieve tactically,” Mermer said.
“I’m excited to see how we have improved and tactically we will respond to what our players’ abilities are right now. “
Kaltack meanwhile is hopeful he will be able to offer the coaching staff some insight on players from at least one of their Group A opponents, with many of the Cook Islands squad likely to be current or former New Zealand-based club players.
“I’ve played with or against many guys that could be in that squad, so anything I can do to help our coaches will be great,” Kaltack said.
Tahiti and Oceania’s second-highest ranked national men’s team, the Solomon Islands, are the other teams in Group A.