Hoping for sunnier days soon

Thursday May 17, 2018 Written by Published in Soccer
Action from the OFC U17 Preliminary in 2016. Some of the players that featured in that tournament are likely to play for the Cook Islands in the OFC U19 Championship qualifi ers, starting next weekend. 18051619 Action from the OFC U17 Preliminary in 2016. Some of the players that featured in that tournament are likely to play for the Cook Islands in the OFC U19 Championship qualifi ers, starting next weekend. 18051619

The continuous rain that has hit Rarotonga is not doing any favours for the organisers of a regional football competition to be held on the island later this month.

Competition manager Pauline Dean is hoping for drier weather in the coming days to ensure the CIFA Complex pitch is in tip-top condition for the Oceania Football Confederation U19 Championship Qualifiers.

The qualifiers, which will feature Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa, will be held from May 26 to 29.

Dean said the main pitch at the CIFA Complex was in a good condition but further rain next week could cause some damage.

She said organisers were hoping for some sunny days soon to ensure a perfect pitch for the tournament.

“The top pitch at CIFA is okay as long as the rain doesn’t persist in the remaining days. We are hoping the rain will stop, but the forecast is saying otherwise,” Dean said.

“The good thing is the water is draining well from the top pitch and a couple of days of sunshine leading up to the tournament will be enough to ensure a perfect pitch.”

Dean said the national U19 team was currently training on the main pitch which will be closed for final preparations next week.

Matavera and Nikao fields will be options for extra training venues when the teams start arriving here next week.

“We have completed most of the other logistics and it’s just the matter of final confirmations and other small matters.

“According to the confirmations we have received, Samoa and American Samoa will arrive in the country next week, while Tonga will be here on Wednesday.

“This should give them two full days to prepare and acclimatise to the conditions here.”

The Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa are playing for a place in the OFC U19 Championship finals tournament, scheduled to take place in Tahiti in August.

The format of the competition is a round robin league, with two games scheduled for each match day. Teams will play once each over the three match days, with two rest days between game days.

Getting the action underway at 1.30pm on Saturday, May 26 will be the big Samoan encounter between American Samoa and Samoa. The Cook Islands will take on Tonga at 4.30pm, following the opening match.

The Cook Islands Football Association said in a statement that they were keen to build an enriching football experience by positively influencing players and coaches in areas of leadership and character development.

Leave a comment