May 31, 2017
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Simi, Kautoga rejoin national camp

Veteran goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau and utility Samuela Kautoga have rejoined the Vodafone national football team for the World Cup Qualifier against New Caledonia.

The pair missed out on selection for the two international friendly matches against the Solomon Islands after Tamanisau pulled out due to illness and Kautoga opted to retire from international football.

Tamanisau has fully recovered from the fever and flu which saw him out of duties for one week while Kautoga has reversed his decision and made himself available for national duties.

Coach Christophe Gamel says the two players bring a lot of depth and experience to the squad and he is delighted to have them on board.

“Samuela was happy with our performance against the Solomon Islands and he contacted me and told me that he wants to play and I gave him a chance as he is a good player and has a lot to offer to the national team.”

“Simi is one of the most experienced keepers in the country and his leadership skills are very good too. He is getting back to fitness and it will be good to have him back in the squad.”

Apart from the pair, Suva defender Epeli Leiroti has also joined the camp.

Gamel said Leiroti impressed him during the Fiji FACT pool matches and he wants to give the 22-year-old a chance to prove his worth in the national team.

Meanwhile strikers Ravinesh Karan Singh and Napolioni Qasevakatini have been released from the national camp.

Qasevakatini copped an injury during training while Singh despite starting against the Solomon Islands in the first match, found it hard to adjust to Gamel’s style and structure of football.

Fiji hosts New Caledonia at Churchill Park in the first leg at 4pm next Wednesday before travelling to Noumea for the second leg on June 11.

By Reginald Chandar
 


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