Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Nadi’s young brigade impresses Swamy

Nadi Coach Kamal Swamy has acknowledged the team’s effort and is happy with the performance of his young brigade after they held champions Rewa to a 0-0 draw in Round 16 of the Digicel Fiji Premier League on Sunday.

Swamy fielded seven young players in the starting lineup and they did not disappoint at all and played strongly against the much more experienced opponents.

“We are in the fifth spot, I think it’s a great achievement with the set of boys we have now although we have a few experienced players. A time will come when our young brigade will be full of experience from which we’ll get the achievements we want.”

“Coming here and taking the one point is nothing less than a win for this young Nadi team.”

“We must realise that we developed this young Nadi team just this year and by the next two years, this will be a team to reckon with.”

“Nadi is a tourist destination and most of the senior players work in hotels and resorts, so they had work commitments and couldn’t train together.”

Swamy said while they were aware that Rewa would not be a walk in the park, his message to the players which was to manage the game wisely boosted the team morale.

“We trained for only two days and coming to play against an experienced Rewa and getting a draw is a positive sign.”

“I think what Nadi’s problem was in the past matches was that we gave away goals but today we managed the game well and it’s a learning experience.”

“We talked about managing the game in our favor and that’s what the boys did and we disallowed Rewa from scoring on many occasions.”

“Unfortunately, when we received a penalty, an infringement by one of our own players had cost us. It’s all part of learning but overall, these boys played really well despite just a short turnaround in the training.”

“We had a lot of scoring chances in both the halves which we missed yet we managed to contain Rewa.”

He also praised the performance of goalkeeper Ratu Halstead, who took the field in place of regular starter Tevita Ravia, who is part of Fiji Under 23’s campaign at the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier in New Zealand.

“Ratu has always been an impressive goalkeeper. Unfortunately, he was out from BOG because of a thumb injury but he recovered and came back strong.”

“He is our first-choice goalkeeper and we must believe in him. He is our lucky charm, whenever he plays, we don’t lose and that’s a bonus for us.”

“Nadi has lost so many players but still we are able to get under 19 players within Nadi and not another district.”

“The team President is also very supportive in developing our own players and giving them game time to grow with the team to get more exposure from a young age,” he added.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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