Solomon Football > News > OFC Men's Olymic Qualifiers 2012 > Solympics squad shaping up

Solympics squad shaping up

Currently, 46 players are in the trial squad and the process of trimming down the team will start on Monday 16 January. Most of the players selected are regulars in the Telekom S-League with the foundation of the team set in the U20 squad that finished behind New Zealand in the 2011 Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) U20 championship held May last year.
Key names in the squad include the Solomon Warriors striking duo Micah Lea’alafa and Dennis Ifunaoa. Names from the 2011 U20 team include Leonard Rokoto, Silas Seda, Himson Teleda and Chris Tafoa. Several members of the national futsal team, Kurukuru, have made it into the squad as well including their captain Elliot Ragomo, forward Jack Wetney and pivot James Egeta.
The trimming down will take place during a series of test matches that will take place over next week. The test matches are being organised by the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) technical department and will be supervised by Noel Wagapu and Gideon Omokirio and are aimed at picking out the best players from the current group. The matches will be held at the SIFF academy complex grounds.
Wagapu reminds all players in the training squad to ensure that they turn up for the trials because non-attendance may mean missing out on the final team.
“I urge all the players in the squad to attend the trials and perform to the best of their ability. If you do not turn up then we will think that you are not interest to be part of the team anymore,” Wagapu says.
Wagapu is confident about the quality of the players and says that as usual picking out the top crop will not be an easy task.
“There are many good players at the youth level and I am sure that a strong team will come out of the current training squad. We will not have an easy time picking the best players but the onus is on the players to show to us they have what it takes to represent Solomon Islands,” Wagapu says.
The venue for the OFC Men’s Olympic qualifiers is yet to be confirmed but the competition is already gathering momentum with several countries also preparing their squads. Papua New Guinea announced in December that former Australian national coach Frank Farina will lead the team to the competition. Fiji’s squad ended their 8-day training camp yesterday and they are featuring players from some of their top teams.
New Zealand are the defending champions of the OFC Men’s Olympic qualifiers. They won the competition in 2008 and represented OFC in the Beijing Olympics the same year.