The Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) has successfully launched the new youth tournament for U-19 teams featuring six Provinces – Malaita, Guadalcanal, Central, Western, Makira, Rennell and Bellona – and the capital, Honiara.
The hugely anticipated tournament kicked off with an encounter between Malaita and a determined Makira side. Malaita were trailing in the first few minutes but went on to win the match in the second half.
SIFF staff are pleased with the way the tournament has been received so far with technical director, Felipe Vega-Arango Alonso also indicating the talent on display will no doubt feature in future national teams.
Malaita head coach, Robert Wanedala said the tournament has definitely come at the right time to help expose and give opportunities to local players.
“I believe such tournament is good for exposing our players and also gaining experience too. Thank you SIFF for organising such a tournament. Now our focus is on doing well in this tournament and hoping to win it if possible,” Wanedala said.
Makira head coach Martin Housanau said that such tournament is crucial for such age groups because it will enable them to continue their development as footballers.
“We have a lot to improve on especially in our first defeat but honestly, we’re quite happy to be able to join such tournament. It’s been a while since we have had a youth tournament which features provincial teams. Indeed, SIFF must be commended for organising the tournament,” Housanau said.
The U-16 tournament kicks off on Thursday and the games will be located at the SIFF Academy.
Additional reporting: Alex Waimora