Labasa goalkeeper and captain Simione Tamanisau, who scooped the Golden Glove award and helped the Babasiga Lions successfully defend the Battle of the Giants title in Suva on Sunday after a 2-1 win over Navua in the final said fatigue failed to deter them.
“We came here to defend our title and the credit goes to the team for putting in their all in the match.”
“We went down to the wire in the semifinal playing in the extra time and then penalty shootout but the boys didn’t allow their tiredness and fatigue in the match. They really proved their worth and quality and the reasons to win the tournament. “
The Police inspector at the Fiji Police Special Response Unit revealed that the game plan set by coach Intiaz Khan which was to maintain composure throughout the game, clicked.
“We just needed to be composed at the back and pressure ourselves. We focused on the job and at the end of the day we turned out victorious.”
“The message from the coach was to hold Navua in the first half and in the second half, we were told to riffle whatever bullets we’ve got left in the team.”
“The boys really stuck to the game plan and followed whatever strategies the coach had outlined before the match and at the break when we were goalless.”
The 41-year-old who hails from Naisaumua village in Tailevu while acknowledging the efforts of the Babasiga Lions also thanked Navua for putting on a strong battle and saluted their fighting spirit.
“Navua was also a quality team playing some very good football in the final. They really surprised us with their playing style in the opening half of the match. They countered us and kept a strong focus on us.”
“First of all, I’d like to thank the Almighty for being the source of inspiration and strength in the team.”
Tamanisau also dedicated his award and their sweet victory to his daughters Josephine and Lusiana for being his backbone throughout the tournament.
“My daughters have been supporting me throughout the tournament. They were in Nadi and then they continued to show their love and support by coming to watch the game on Sunday.”
“I love my family a lot and I’m very passionate about football. It’s something I do to make my girls and family proud. I know age is catching up but I would love to play for Labasa and also in the Police team for the upcoming Police IDC.”