Solomon Football > News > OFC Men's Olympic Qualifier 2012 > Solympics aim for winning start

Solympics aim for winning start

Speaking from the team’s camp at the Top 10 Resort in Taupo, New Zealand, Luke Eroi says that the Solympics need to create a positive momentum for themselves and winning their first match is a must for the team.
“I spoke to my players about the importance of winning this first game and I am confident that we all understand our roles in achieving this,” Eroi said. “We are in a difficult pool and each game counts and we want maximum points from each match starting with our first one.”
Fiji is the Solympics’ first opponent in their group and the team’s management is anticipating a tough physical challenge from their traditional rivals whom they edged out of the last competition by a narrow 3-2 win. Coached by Imdad Ali, Fiji are expected to utilise their height against Eroi’s men and Jone Salauneune, who has O-League experience with Ba, is one player they need to look out for.
For Eroi ensuring that his players have the mental capacity to handle the expected physical battering from the Fiji players is going to be a concern. However, the management has worked with the team on how to deal with the challenge that Fiji will impose and according to Eroi it will be about sticking to their game plan.
“We expect Fiji to be physical as they normally do and they will go hard on our players. The key for us is to play our game, keep the ball on the ground and not lose possession easily. We must ensure that all of our set plays are executed with meaningful results and of course our players will need to maintain discipline and if we do this right our objective will come to us,” Eroi says.
The Solympics touched down in New Zealand on Tuesday and arrived in Taupo in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The team held their first training session in New Zealand late on Wednesday and followed it up with the second one this afternoon. They also paid a visit today to Owen Delaney Park where the competition matches will take place.
Reports from the camp state that the team has settled in well and an improvement in the weather condition yesterday was well received by the players and management who were worried about the impact of the cold conditions on their performance.
“The weather has improved and in fact it has shifted in our favour. We are expecting warmer afternoons which will work well for us but nights are still going to be cold,” Solypmics team manager Gideon Omokirio says.
“Aside from the weather we are dealing with several players who have sustained knocks during training but it is nothing major. Overall morale in the camp is very good and we look forward to our first game in the tournament.”
The Solomon Islands v. Fiji clash will kick off at 12:00 New Zealand time (10:00am Solomon Islands time). The match will be broadcast live by Telekom TV to Honiara, Auki and Gizo. It will be followed by the second group A clash which features Vanuatu against American Samoa. New Zealand are set to take on Papua New Guinea in the final match of day 1 of the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2012.
The winner of the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2012 will represent Oceania in the London Olympics.

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