The Fiji Kulas have commenced their preparations for the upcoming Olympic Qualifiers in Samoa.
Head coach Angeline Chua has selected a 35-member extended squad, including two overseas-based players.
She said 29 players are currently in camp at the Fiji FA Academy in Ba and they are actively seeking additional local players to join soon.
Chua said US-based players Trina Davis and Preeya Singh would join the squad in the third week.
The Digicel Fiji Kulas squad comprises top senior players from the South Pacific Games and the best performers from the Young Kulas Team.
Chua shared about the positive bonding between both generations of players, highlighting the senior players’ role in guiding the younger ones in terms of culture within the camp.
She emphasized the ample time they’ve had to prepare a formidable team, noting that the senior players were part of the Pacific Games in the first week of December.
Chua mentioned the meticulous tracking of players’ body weight, fats, and fitness testing at every camp, ensuring early identification of those needing extra attention.
Expecting unity despite age differences, Chua said the Fijian value of duavata (unity in iTaukei), signifying working together for Fiji and the goal is to build individuals and contribute collectively to the team’s strength on the field.
Looking ahead to the Olympic Qualifiers, Chua expressed the aim to top their group, necessitating winning all matches and scoring lots of goals.
This strategy is devised to potentially face defending champions New Zealand in the later stages of the competition.
The Kulas find themselves in Group A alongside Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and American Samoa.
The qualifiers will take place from February 7-19, 2024.