After an average 2016 season for Tonga Major League side Marist an off-season rebuild has seen the club reemerge in 2017 with their eye on the top prize.
In the past 15 years the men’s team has consistently finished in the top four clubs but they’re now looking to take their success a step further.
Marist manager and assistant coach Tevita Vea said the time felt right for him to return to the club and try to make a difference.
“After five years being away I noticed that there was a need to revive the club,” he said.
“I started to negotiate with a few players and we started to train before the commencement of this championship. We were only training twice a week at that time.
“Now we have increased our training sessions from twice a week to three times a week and we meet Friday’s just to talk about our game for that weekend.”
The club has one premier men’s side, a women’s team and a futsal side.
Vea believes his aims for the club are no different to any other dedicated coach.
“I am just like the other coaches, aiming high and then working hard to achieve,” he explained.
“I believe we have to change our philosophy towards the development of football. The consistency and accuracy of a proper training is vital to the future of Marist.”
Vea said the club hopes to work with ‘Apifo’ou College in a partnership to develop football.
“We will assist their students in football activities such as coaching, refereeing, fitness and others and at the same time, they will be playing for Marist.
“This is a long-term plan with a lot of hurdles and challenges to overcome for the future of our club and as well for the benefit of football here in Tonga,” he concluded.
After four rounds in the TFA Major League, Marist are currently sitting in second place behind leaders Veitongo.