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Warriors relishing international debut

The Warriors, as they are popularly known locally, are relying only on training due to the absence of a local competition and so far the club has taken this viewpoint to heart. With dual daily training sessions the players appear to be picking up pace and settling into a rhythm. Several friendly matches have also indicated the strength of the team with their tally of four wins out of five.
According to club secretary, Kenton Sade, preparations have gone well and Solomon Warriors are looking forward to playing in the OFC Champions League.
“The team is doing well in training under the guidance of our technical team. Each day the players are getting sharper and results from our friendly matches last month show that we are on the right track,” Sade says.
“We surely share the ambitions of other clubs in the competitions – we aim to do our best and do well. We anticipate that our pool will be competitive because our opponents are all former finalists including Hekari United who won the competition in 2010,” says Sade.
“This will be our first taste of international football so we are excited but we are well aware of the responsibility that we have. We play for our club and for our country as well but we welcome this responsibility and we are pooling all our resources to back a good campaign.”
With their sizeable shopping exercise behind them the team has now taken form thanks to the successful import of three overseas players. The three imports include English goalkeeper, Eddie Newman, defender, Brian Kaltack and midfielder, Nemani Roqara. This coupled with the return of their former stars Gibson Daudau and Tigi Molea from Vanuatu has boosted the confidence of the debutants who already have access to top quality players in Judd Molea, Jerry Donga and Jeffery Bule.
Beyond that the club has also secured the services of former Nelson Suburbs manager Brendan Chrichton who enters the picture as the head coach of Solomon Warriors. The New Zealander has history with the club having coached them when they finished in second place in the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) National Club Championship 2010. Chrichton is expected to instil the final touches required by the team before the competition starts.
Given the composition of the side doing well may be just the thing that they do despite this being the first time for the club to play in an international competition. Their line up boasts some of the best players in Solomon Islands and they have a lethal front pack in the speedy Micah Lea’alafa and former Waitakere based Gagame Feni who has an eye for goals.
Solomon Warriors will kick off their campaign in the OFC Champions league at home on March 30 against Vanuatuan champions, Amicale. This will be followed by a visit by Fijian champions, Ba on April 3.
Following the two home matches Solomon Warriors will travel to Vanuatu for the return match against Amicale on April 13 and then head to Ba for another away game on April 17. Their final group matches are both against Hekari United, at home on April 20 and away on April 27.
If Solomon Warriors finish inside the upper half of the OFC Champions League Group A table they will proceed to the semi finals where they will meet either the top or second placed team in Group B. The semi finals are also played in home-and-away format and will take place on May 4 and 11.
The OFC Champions League grand final is scheduled for May 19.

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