(Samoa players train ahead of the tournament start at Bruce Pulman Arena on Sunday)

Samoa  may be a big underdog but Ina Tugaga is hopeful of a strong showing from his side at the  OFC Futsal Nations Cup starting  at Auckland’s Bruce Pulman Arena tomorrow.

Samoa is in Group and have matches against the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, and Tahiti.

Tugaga has an experienced squad, most of whom played at last year’s tournament in Fiji.

“I can only hope for a learning experience in this tournament, there are only three new players in the squad who weren’t in Fiji last year. How are they looking? I can only pray to God that they do their best and get some good results.”  Tugaga said.

The Samoans have had a limited buildup and have been playing catch up since arriving in Auckland last week.

“It’s been challenging , recruiting players from our national league and we only had a friendly earlier this week against Vanuatu and will have another before the weekend.”

That second match was against Tonga yesterday. It was 2-2 at half-time before Samoa pulled away in the second half winning 6-3.

Tugaga is under no illusions as to the task which awaits his side.

“We are going against teams with a wealth of experience and well-established national football leagues in their own associations. So this is a good opportunity for the boys to experience Futsal at this level. We have potential, we played against Solomon Islands last year and it was a good, exciting game.” Tugaga said.