Both the men’s and women’s national teams have been enjoying regular sessions on the training pitch in recent weeks in the Solomon Islands, as work continues on developing a football philosophy and style which will be implemented across both teams.   

Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Head of National Teams and High Performance, Felipe Vega-Arango, said it was important that the country’s senior national teams had a defined style.  

“It will be good for the national teams to train and play the same way and try to stick to the same system,” Vega-Arango said.  

“The main focus for us right now is the game system – how we want to play, how we want to defend and how we want to attack – because it is going to be different with the national team than it is at each club.  

“With the women’s team we have just started with a new coaching methodology, so I would say what we are looking at at the moment is the technical ability of players.”  

The women’s team will train three times a week in the lead-up to Christmas, while the men have been training once a week since July, due to the Telekom S-League competition running up until last weekend.  

Vega-Arango said while fitness has taken care of itself for the men, thanks to their club competition, he’s been pleased with the physical progress of the women’s squad too.  

“I was quite impressed with their fitness because their club league finished a couple of months ago,” Vega-Arango said.  

“I did a fitness test on the first day which most of the girls completed and they are in much better physical shape than they were two years ago.” 

The men’s squad has also been boosted by the return of dual football/futsal international Micah Lea’alafa, who played at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™ in September.  

Lea’alafa’s Kurukuru teammate Raphael Lea’i, who scored 12 goals this S-League season for Henderson Eels FC, has also joined the squad in recent weeks. 

“Bringing in a player with international experience like Micah is a positive for the team. The young players will learn from his attitude and work ethic,” Vega-Arango said. 

“Micah has a good personality and he trains really hard.”