After three pool play losses the Solomon Islands Kurukuru have come to the end of their FIFA Futsal World Cup campaign in Colombia, but coach Juliano Schmeling is very proud of the young side and grateful for the support from home.
“We couldn’t achieve what we were expecting but I am very happy and very proud of the Kurukuru,” he said.
“We knew about our limitations, with no facilities and no competition, and when you look at the reality we have compared to the reality of the teams we play against in the World Cup, for me it’s totally understandable.
“I just need to say thank you to the Kurukuru players, to the managers, to the federation, and to all the supporters back home because there’s an amazing load of messages.
“It was not just Honiara but the whole Pacific Islands, and messages from Brazil and Columbia, we’ve got a lot of supporters around the world.”
Schmeling will continue his efforts in developing Solomon Islands futsal on his return to Honiara, where he will sit with the federation and reflect on the World Cup and the importance of having facilities and a competition to improve the game.
“At the moment it is very clear for us that the facilities and the competition that we don’t have at home, they make a lot of difference when we come to the high level,” he said.
“For the whole project, the whole development, it will be important. Not just for the Kurukuru but for the whole country.
“With a venue we can host international games, we can host a schools competitions, we can develop Kurukuru youth teams to prepare the next generation.
“This will be the next step. Get back to Solomon, get back and discuss it with the federation and start to organise a plan.”
Schmeling believes there is enough support for the team, and for the game in general for this to next stage in developing the game to begin.
“If we have all the country behind Kurukuru, I believe this can happen. I believe we will have some facilities soon, we will have a higher competition soon, and with a proper plan I believe Kurukuru will perform much better.
“We will come back in 2020 and we will surprise the world against the top teams.”
The Solomon Islands futsal team Futsal World Cup campaign included defeats to 19th ranked Costa Rica, 6th ranked Argentina, and 9th ranked Kazakhstan in matches that truly tested the ability and spirit of the Oceania champions.
The Kurukuru proved their strength, scoring goals against Argentina and Costa Rica and playing Solomon’s quick and completely unpredictable style until the end of every match.
Although the team couldn’t match the group play points they earned at the World Cup in 2012, their presence against such high ranked teams proved their development as a side over the past four years.
“On behalf of all the management team I can say we are very happy with the performance of Kurukuru and I think the whole population needs to be proud.
“Kurukuru came here and represented the Solomon Islands very well at the highest level in the world.”
For more on Solomon Islands football visit www.siff.com.sb.