The inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar may not feature Tahiti’s impressive national beach soccer team, but Aurélien Planchais Godefroy is ensuring a Tahitian presence is felt.

The FIFA Beach Soccer referee is taking part in his first international competition outside Oceania, and hopes a strong performance might see him considered for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup roster.

What do you think about taking part in your first international tournament outside Oceania?

“I’m ready to go, and ready for the competition to get underway. For a month I’ve thought about it daily. I’m going to this tournament to discover what elite level is and learn. I’m sure for a start, my role will be to listen and to observe. After that, I’ll do my best to be ready, this is a superb opportunity.”

There’s a lot of big beach soccer nations taking part, is that intimidating?

“The best nations in the world will be there, obviously that’s motivating in itself to push even harder. But, we’re fortunate in Tahiti to have players of this level, and very strong teams. I need to have the same attitude, the same commitment for the biggest matches as I do for our championship.”

There’s also a lot of experienced referees. Are you excited about working with, and learning from them?

“I think I’m more apprehensive about working with the referees, who referee the big teams. I need to watch them as much as I can, learn from them. In two years, I’ve picked up some habits which I need to change and that will be the most difficult. In refereeing, we learn something from each match we do. It’s going to be an accelerated learning course.”

What are you most looking forward to?

“I’ll be listening and observing as much as possible, for my personal development and so I can share my experience in the next competitions in Tahiti.”