Veteran defender Naomi Waqanidrola is focused on helping the Fiji Kulas defend their bronze medal at this year’s Pacific Games in Solomon Islands.
Waqanidrola, who has already represented Fiji at the past four Pacific Games is again itching for a spot in the national team under the guidance of Singaporean coach Angeline Chua.
The 30-year-old has put her hat aside as the assistant coach of the national team and has re-donned the Rewa women’s jumper to commence her preparation for the tournament in which she believes Fiji can do better this year.
“Finishing off with bronze last time has kept the girls motivated that this year we can go a level up to Silver or Gold,” she told FijiLive.
“The 2019 loss in the play-off still hurt us but I feel that I still have a lot left in the tank to give in for Fiji at the Pacific Games.”
“I have resumed playing in the local league and the recent tournaments have been helping me a lot in terms of form and fitness. Age does not really deter me because I have been training with the national team whenever they have camps and I have been frequently utilising my time helping the age group teams.”
The vice-president of the Rewa Football Association added that she is hoping to make it into the Kulas team for the friendlies against New Caledonia next month which she aims to test her fitness and football skills.
“When we play locally, we know the teams here and how they play but since we will be playing in the test match, we will get more ideas on areas and strategies we need to better ahead of the tournament.”
“When I train, I don’t think of myself just as a player but also as a coach and try to find the loopholes in my game. BOG helped me get back to football as a player where I could compete against the young ones and experienced national reps.”
“It felt that the young ones are very aggressive and that is something I might need to start showing in my game because if you are not aggressive the opponents will easily beat you around.”
“I believe we still have a lot of time to prepare a strong team for the games and the competition is very high in Pacific Games. Every team vie for Gold and we can feel the hunger from them in the matches.”
The Pacific Games will be played between 19 November to 2 December in Honiara, Solomon Islands.