In a recent scouting effort, Fiji Kulas head coach Angeline Chua put herself in the centre of the action to get a firsthand assessment of potential talents.
The intriguing initiative took place in a match where Chua exchanged her coaching role to actively participate in a game against Vancouver Fiji Women’s FC while representing the Suva Women’s team.
Faced with the challenge of scouting talent for the national team, Chua chose to break from tradition and joined the field herself, creating a unique opportunity for closer evaluation of the players.
“I saw the need to transition from the sidelines to the playing field in order to thoroughly test and understand the capabilities of each player,” said Chua.
While Chua recognized the high level of performance from the Vancouver team, she revealed a significant barrier.
The Vancouver team consists entirely of Fijian players living overseas who do not possess Fijian passports.
“Given that they are all adults, acquiring a Fijian passport would require them to reside in Fiji for a period of 2 to 5 years,” explained Chua.
However, this hurdle hasn’t discouraged her, as she was able to identify several promising Vancouver team members.
Among these potential talents are team captain Christine Singh, Chelsey Lal, Liya Jackson, Naadiya Ali, and Young Kulas midfielder Preeya Singh.
Despite the passport issue, there remains a sense of optimism as Fiji FA is committed to assisting these players in obtaining Fijian passports, once they have been selected to represent the country.