Australian based James Egeta is banking on experience as the Solomon Islands Kurukuru are poised to defend their title at the OFC Futsal Nations Cup in Noumea against a determined New Zealand Futsal Whites today at L’Arene Du Sud.
The Solomon Islands number 7 is one of the five remaining players of the golden generation for the Kurukuru team that won back to back OFC titles over the years.
Egeta is optimistic the defending champions is the team to beat but he is aware of the work the other Pacific countries have been put in place in preparation for the competition.
“As an experienced player, I am not underestimating any team in this competition every team is here to compete,” he said.
Brazilian duo Vinicius Laite and Alex Argolo have been implementing a new style of training and playing style to the Kurukuru team and Egeta believes they are much primed compared to past campaigns.
“I believe in the boys, especially what they have been through with Alex and the coach. I really believe in them that they, we gonna do better,” Egeta insisted.
“I think it’s twice better than last time so I believe we gonna do our best and do better in this competition.”
Egeta is a role model to many young players in the Solomon Islands and the region after been to three FIFA Futsal World Cups with the Kurukurus.
He played a key role in the heart of the Solomon Islands defense and recently helped the Gold Coast Force won the Australian National Fustal Championship.
“I started playing futsal since I was 12 years old back in my country the Solomon Islands.
“Currently, I am playing in Australia Brisbane, I’m playing for Gold Coast Force. Been to three world cups is a very good experience.
“I think personally it helps a lot in experiencing wise and I believe what I’ve learned from the last three world cups is going to boost my career.
“What I learned through the past world cups I’m going to apply in the competition,” he added.
Playing in his debut World Cup qualifiers, Marlon Sia said they have been working hard alongside his more experienced player for the OFC Futsal Nations Cup campaign.
“We have been through a lot of challenges but somehow the boys overcome the challenges we came through,” he said.
“At times training is hard we still keep our heads up and for this programme that the two coaches have implemented over the few months it really help us.
“Physically we have strength, agility and everything else is in their training which is helping us a lot.
“Personally I am one of the newcomers for Kurukuru and it’s my first qualifiers. Passing years I watched Kurukuru played and I have the heart to play one day for my country now that I am part of the team, I am 100 percent ready for the game.”
Sia has scored three goals so far in the competition and scored the fifth goal against New Caledonia in the semi-final yesterday.
Sia and company will know their fate of qualifying for a record fifth World Cup appearance or New Zealand earning a historic first.