June 07, 2017
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Young Permal relishes selection

17-year-old Manav Permal will be the youngest player on the park when Fiji takes on New Caledonia in the first leg of their dead rubber World Cup Stage 3 Qualifier at Churchill Park in Lautoka today.

The Vashist Muni College student from Navua was named in the squad for the two matches yesterday by Coach Christophe Gamel who sees a lot of potential in upcoming marksman.

“I am building up for the next World Cup qualifiers and Manav is one player who will be part of my programme. He is young, fast, determined and a disciplined player.”

“He needs to be in the right environment and become better and I think he is learning a lot of new things in the national camp and is adjusting well. He is one of the future stars of our federation and we need to work around our young stars and help them develop further,” stated Gamel.

For Permal, the selection into the national team comes as a surprise but he is humbled by the experience so far.

“I must thank coach Gamel for giving me chance to be part of the Fiji team. I am truly honored and I also want to thank my parents for always supporting my dream to become a footballer. They have supported me in every possible way,” he said.

“I also thank the Almighty for giving me the strength to be able to play football. I know it will be a big challenge for me to play for the national team. I am the youngest and there are so many senior players but I will just give my best to prove my worth and will learn as much as I can from my team mates.”

Permal made his debut for Fiji against Solomon Islands in their first friendly international at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on May 25 after coming on as late replacement and he is likely to get more game time in the two matches against New Caledonia.

The Vodafone Fiji national side will play New Caledonia at Churchill Park in Lautoka at 4pm.

Both teams will then travel to New Caledonia for their second match at Stade Numa Daly in Noumea on Sunday.

By Reginald Chandar

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