June 06, 2022
Lanky utility Malakai Rakula says he was determined to help Suva defend the 2022 Digicel Fiji FACT and claim the Golden Boot award.
Rakula told FijiLive that before the match, he promised his family that he would score a goal and he fulfilled his promise by slamming in the team's opener with a spectacular free-kick in the 35th minute.
"My family was here to watch my game but I could not meet them before the final."
"So I called to check where they were sitting and my kids asked me: "Dadda what will you give us today?".
"I just told them that "your Dadda will score a goal" and I kept that in my mind going onto the pitch."
"Labasa gave us some challenging moments in the match and I really wanted to score so when I got the free kick I told myself ‘this is the time’ and I just blasted my shot."
"When I scored, I just ran towards my family to tell my kids that I had scored the goal and delivered my promise."
"I was content from the beginning of the tournament that I wanted to score goals and defend the title and also win the highest goal scorer award."
The 30-year-old father of three believes he still needs to improve on his fitness.
"I don't blame my age but I just want to keep improving my fitness."
"Fitness is what determines how fast we can be. I think my fitness was challenged when I joined Suva because in December we went on a long break and just played League games."
"Sometimes, I did not make it in the starting 11 and that was because of my fitness. So I struggled really hard and I went through the training just to play in Fiji FACT and score goals."
"I think this tournament taught me a lot of things with this group of boys. I still have to work on my fitness and also ball control. Sometimes I was slow in ball possession but I managed to overcome that in the final but still there's always room for improvement," he added.
By Romeka Romena