OFC Champions League Club Profile: AS Tiga Sport (New Caledonia)

(We are profiling the eight teams who will compete for the OFC Champions League title in Vanuatu next month. This week we look at New Caledonian side AS Tiga Sport. Photo Credit Alain Vartane)

This will be Tiga Sport’s first appearance at the OFC Champions League finals. They have been champions of New Caledonia twice in 2020 and 2022 but did not participate in the Champions League in 2021 due to the tournament not being held because of Covid.

The club was founded in in 1965 and it represents the Tiga Islands in New Caledonia. They play at the Stade Numa Daly in the capital city Noumea with a capacity of just under 10,000 spectators.

How Tiga Sport qualified for the 2023 OFC Champions League

 Tiga Sport were impressive in a 5-1 aggregate win over Hienghene in the New Caledonia National Playoffs. They won the first leg 3-1 away from home and completed a 2-0 win in the second leg at home.

The coach’s approach and hopes for the tournament

 Leo Lopez

 “I hope that we can find our level to play in this competition because it’s the first time for us and we have a very young team without experience of a high level. So we are going to Vanuatu to learn and progress and try to develop. We have never played international games with Tiga so it will be a very good experience for us.  I hope we can be a surprise for our opponents because they do not know our players well. We have good young players, six who have played in the National team and they have a lot of quality but not much experience.”

Star Player: Shene Welepane (midfielder and captain) is a talented young player who leads by example. Welepane hails from the Island of Tiga and is described as a beautiful creative ball player who doesn’t score a lot of goals but who creates plenty. It’s hoped he will raise his game to another level at the Champions League where Tiga Sport play their Group matches in Port Vila.

Tiga Sport Fixtures (Port Vila)

Monday May 15: Tiga Sport v AS Pirae KO 12:00

Thursday May 18: Tiga Sport v Hekari United KO 12:00

Sunday May 21: Tiga Sport v Ifira Blackbird  KO: 1500