The annual Battle of the Giants is upon us and host district Rewa is rearing for the competition to get underway.
Following the draw on Thursday, Rewa Football Club president Nazeel Buksh said fans can expect some exciting encounters throughout the competition.
“I would say it will be very exciting matches with Ba, Labasa, Suva and Tavua in Group A while Rewa, Lautoka, Nadi and Nasini are in Group B.”
“Nadi are the Vodafone Fiji FACT champions and we as the host I would say the fans will really have some nail biting matches to witness,” said Buksh.
The club president also said there was pressure on his own side to do well given they’re hosting this year’s edition.
“The whole year has been the pressure for Rewa in itself. Firstly we were defending champions for Fiji FACT and we lost that, as well we were rooted at the bottom of the Vodafone Premier League but we manage to get out of that position but still not out of the danger but we slowly getting momentum going towards the business end of the year.”
Despite the team’s recent struggles, Buksh is hopeful this event could be the season’s turning point.
“BOG I would say is one of the favourite tournaments for us, we have won the second highest number of times after Ba and yes, we always come out very strong during the tournament.
“As the host the pressure will be there and I think we will do well.”
Suva, drawn into the opposite pool to hosts Rewa, are looking forward to the tournament according to Suva Football Club president Ritesh Pratap.
“Looking at the current Vodafone Premier League standings we can see there is not much difference in the points except for the last two teams and that is why I say it is an even pool in the BOG,” said Pratap.
“Every team will come well prepared and we cannot underestimate any team during the tournament as they are very competitive.”
Suva is drawn in Group A with defending champions Ba, Labasa and Tavua.
Pratap said they would have some exciting matches during pool games.
“We played Ba during the Fiji FACT final and also lost to them during the Vodafone Premier League and we respect them but anything can happen in the game of football,” said Pratap.
“Labasa is also a good team and as well Tavua so I think we are not taking any game lightly but we will do our best.”
The Capital City side have won the BOG title three times from five finals appearances.
The Battle of the Giants will be played at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori from July 26-28 for the group stage, with the semi-finals and final to be held a week later.