Fiji Futsal head coach Jerry Sam says they are mentally and physically prepared for the 2023 OFC Futsal Nations Cup which will kick start in New Zealand on Sunday.
“Our preparation for the Nations Cup has been going well. We are mentally and physically prepared for this competition,” Sam said.
“We know that this OFC Competition will be tough. In our Pool, we have New Zealand and Vanuatu so nothing will be easy.”
Sam said they have a few 11-a-side players making their transition into 5-a-side football and the team has trained on all aspects of the game.
“We have 14 players in the final squad who will represent Fiji at the Nations Cup. For now, these players coming from football are technically futsal players.”
“I always tell them to understand the tactical aspect of the game. They have gelled in really well with the style of play which has been introduced to them.”
While there have been some challenges in getting the entire squad to train together, Sam is confident the players will give their best and achieve their aim of playing in the final.
“Despite the challenges, nothing comes easy but we have a goal in mind that we want to achieve which is to finish in the finals.”
“I do believe that when we stay focused and concentrate on our objectives and plans, nothing is impossible. The motivating factor is we remind our players that we have a goal which we can achieve together as a team.”
He added the team will not underestimate an unpredictable Tonga in their opening match on Sunday.
“We have Tonga in the first game and I told them it’s not going to be easy because last year in the Championship, in the first half we played to the level of Tonga.”
“I told them that that’s not the way we should play, if we are the best team, we have to show them that we understand the game and put our performance out there.”
“The first game will always be tough no matter who we play. Keep supporting us and we hope to produce the result we want.”
Fiji is drawn in Group A with defending champions New Zealand, Vanuatu and Tonga and will open its campaign against Tonga at 10am in Auckland on Sunday.