May 10, 2022
Former Fiji Captain Abdul Mannan says football in the country has evolved over time and players are now very fast and physical.
Speaking to FijiLive, Mannan said the approach during their time was a bit slow and they most played 60 minutes of football.
The former Rewa and Nasinu defender who got his big break at district level while still at DAV College in Suva said he is impressed to see more platforms available for players to excel through football.
"There is a huge difference between how the game was played during our days to how it is now being played."
"I think 22 years back, soccer was played at a slow pace and there was very less physical play seen in the sport."
"But soccer has become an electrical sport-very fast and physical now."
"It's physical in the sense that before we kicked and chased the ball but now it's like kicking and chasing the players then the ball. So that's the big difference."
"That's where the physical part comes in and it's fast because now the game has a 90 minute timeframe and every player wants to display their pace and speed in that 90 minute so that they book a spot for the next match."
"I think now a lot of players have got their names caught in Pacific Countries with Roy Krishna in the bigger picture. So we can say players have shined on the world stage as well."
Manan also said people now have a good opportunity to take advantage of the Fiji Football Association's development programs put in place to enhance the knowledge of football lovers, players and officials.
"Football has become more player and knowledge driven whereas at our time it was player driven because we did not have many football development programs back then."
"Today the players and officials go through the development programs from where they get ideas on how to assess their team’s football strengths, weaknesses and positions."
"Now there are courses offered by Fiji football which were not offered at our time so this ultimately means that if you have passion and love for the sport you can go through the courses to attain knowledge and license as a coach or mentor."
"I think people are lucky now that Fiji FA is going big on Futsal and Beach soccer while at our time we did not have much knowledge of that and people found playing 11-a-side as the first option," he added.
Mannan, who is currently looking after the Rewa Legends was recently inducted into Fiji Football Association's Legend Club.
By Romeka Romena