June 27, 2022
18-year-old central defender Samuela Navoce says his selection in the Fiji Under 19 team has been possible through the guidance of national defender Remueru Tekiate and experienced utility Waisake Navunigasau.
The Tavualevu villager who is the son of former Tavua and national goalkeeper Netani Moce made his debut for the Men in Black in the Digicel Premier League last season before moving to Suva earlier this year to explore more opportunities.
Speaking to FijiLive, Navoce said he was part of Fiji Under 16 and 17 teams and upon joining the Whites, he started to take mentorship from Bula Boys vice-Captain and Navunigasau.
"I think it was a good decision to join Suva," Navoce said.
"The players really guided me well especially Remueru and Waisake because I always tag along with them."
"I feel they are experienced players and have made their name in football through their football knowledge and skills."
"They are my role models and always guide me on and off the field."
"Yes as a central defender they taught me how to play aerial balls and how to attack while defending."
"I really lacked my defensive skills but in the training, they always take time out and help me."
"They are very encouraging and always tell me that I just have to believe in myself and have confidence in myself."
"I don't compete with anyone but just compete with myself and tell myself that I can do better in every game."
The former Natabua High School student said fitness has been a challenge for him but the daily team training is assisting him well.
"Like Remueru he sees my performance and tells me the things I lacked like fitness was a concern but I always try to improve on that."
"I just train with the team and also do my personal training because I want to become a professional footballer."
"Waisake is always tactful and on the go, in every position, he is given. In a game, he tells me when and how to apply pressure."
"Sometimes we apply pressure. We have to be physical and at the same time make sure we are disciplined."
"Like the national coach said we have to be really fit because the teams we will play against us won't be easy."
"I have represented Fiji and I'm aware of how challenging it is to play against international teams so we have to be in form and always ready."
"They always tell me not to let my guard down and always keep trying."
The OFC Under 19 Championship will be played in September in Tahiti.
By Romeka Romena