Solomon Football > News > OFC U-20 Championship 2011 New Zealand > U-20 training squad ups tempo

U-20 training squad ups tempo

Since resuming training earlier this month coach Noel Wagapu has put the players through a tough regime combining fitness and balls skills and despite the toughness of the training attendance has not been affected.
The thirty-five man training squad is moving towards the date for the final cut to take place and the 20 best players are named in the final list for the trip to Auckland.
According to Wagapu this is not going to be an easy task and the team of selectors will have to make some tough choices in coming up with the final team.
“The quality and commitment of the players is outstanding so this makes it hard for us to pick out the top ones. A stringent criteria is being applied for the selection of the final squad but that will not make it any easy,” Wagapu says.
Wagapu further explained that it is important for Solomon Islands to have the best team at the OFC championship because it is the qualifying competition for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
“All our training is geared towards making Solomon Islands a contender for the OFC title and win ticket to the U-20 world cup. Earlier this year our U-17 team failed to qualify in their competition but we have another chance with this U-20 team,” Wagapu says.
The training squad started its program in August last year and continued up until the Christmas break before starting again in the first week of this month so they have already clocked up more than 20 weeks of training.
Most of the players in the training squad were selected during the Our Telekom National Club Championship in June last year and additional ones were called in after the Our Telekom National U-20 Championship in November.
The OFC U-20 Championship will be held from 18 – 19 April and while the teams for the competition have not been confirmed it is anticipated that Tahiti and New Zealand are likely to the top contenders but Solomon Islands has a strong history in the event and will be looking to bank on positives from past ones.