June 14, 2021
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Midfielder Matanisiga out to make amends

Rewa midfielder Gabiriele Matanisiga is aiming to make amends and deliver his best performance for the Delta Tigers when football activities resume in the country.

The Nukubalavu, Savusavu lad who shares maternal links to Korovou village in Taveuni turned 26 today and says time management is the current challenge he is facing now.

“Being a Policeman it's tough as we are on the front-line and are doing all we can to keep our country and the citizens safe. With this pandemic, I miss training with my team and  I am also missing my family back home."

“Sometimes, I don’t get enough time to do my training but that’s also understandable because I’m in the Force and as a Police officer my duty is to serve because while everybody is at home with their families, we are out day and night trying to save our loved ones.”

Matanisiga was suspended at the start of this season over a transfer dispute between Suva and Rewa.

He was handed a fine and suspension of six matches which he has already served and will be eligible to play from the next round of the Digicel Premier League."

Matanisiga's football career started with Seaqaqa as a 15-year-old and played in the Senior Division for three seasons.

He then moved to Labasa and after spending two years with the Babasiga Lions, he made a swtich to Rewa and has since been representing the Southerners for the past five years.

“As a midfielder we have to be physically fit because we steal the ball from the opponent’s side and set it up for our strikers. I play defensive and offensive both because my job is to win the ball and give it to our strikers so that our team can score and win.”

Matanisiga said his wife Elvera Norma is his biggest inspiration and is always there to guide him in the right direction.

 “At the moment, I’m just training on my own at home and following the training guide that has been provided by our coach and officials. I’m working on my speed which is key in football and I want to get back to the form where I was and also get even better.”

“I know our officials have huge expectations from me and as a midfielder I also have to improve on my performance and score goals. My wife is always supporting me and makes sure that I follow the right diet and train daily so that I’m prepared for the next match against Nadi.”

“Yes, apart from speed there is other training I’m doing like ball control and one touch play. All this is really important in winning the ball and helping the strikers to score goals. I have been preparing hard on taking shots so that I don’t miss the scoring opportunities,” he added.

Matanisiga won his first Fiji FACT in 2015 with Labasa and a year later he won his first Inter District with the side. During his stay in Rewa, in 2017 he won his second Fiji FACT and Battle of the Giants tournament in 2017 and 2020.

He mentioned that he would spend his evening with his wife while he misses his parents who are in the North.

By Romeka Romena


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