October 25, 2012
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Suva can make a clean sweep: Junior

Suva after winning the 2012 Inter District Championship and Fiji FACT titles can make a clean sweep in the new season, believes former Whites and national utility Meli Debalevu Junior.

Debalevu Junior, 47, who started representing the Capital City side from 1988, 5 years after their IDC triumph of 1983 proudly lifted the Llyod Farebrother trophy last Saturday in the city for the first time and saluted the heroes of 2012 for their achievement.

The Bua native was emotional when FijiLive approached him for an interview and said it was a historic moment for him to hold the IDC cup.

"I never managed to grab this trophy during my playing days although we went close to winning it at times," he quipped.

"The current set of players have done something which none of us were able to do in the last 28 years and I salute them for their wonderful achievement."

"Suva has always been close to my heart although I come from Bua and had my cousins Sakiusa Narara and Petero Namoce play for Labasa during their days. They always asked me to join them but I told them that my commitment was only for Suva and I hung my boots after representing Suva and the national team."

"I was actually in the Suva youth team when Suva last won the IDC in 1983 and I closed watched that goal which was set up by Solomon Islander Robert Mark and scored by Aisea Mocelutu via a header."

"The players have proven this year that nothing is impossible and I have full faith in this team. If they can win two tournaments this year then surely they can make a clean sweep in the new season."

"The coach should retain the same team so the players can build a stronger bond and combination and maintain their consistency" he added.

With five grandchildren to nurture, Debalevu Junior keeps football close to his chest but opts to remain a spectator and has no intention to take up coaching.

Known for his lethal left foot, Debalevu Junior tasted his first tournament victory with the Whites in 1995 when they won the Fiji FACT  in Labasa beating the host district 4-0 in the final .

He then helped Suva lift the Battle Of the Giants tournament at the National Stadium the same year as the side beat Navua 2-1 in the final.

He was also part of the team which won the National League title back to back in 1996 and 1997 under the guidance of coach Brijwan Singh.


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