Seven new players

THE Vodafone national football team head coach Christophe Gamel has named seven debutants in his 23-member squad to the Philippines.

The players are Kishan Sami, Patrick Joseph, Ratu Savenaca Nakalevu, Filipe Baravilala, Marika Rawasoi, Sakaraia Naisua and Ratu Apenisa Anare.

The newcomers into the national team have already been part of the various age-group national teams, however, it is their first time in the main squad.

Gamel said it became quite difficult for them at the beginning yet they never gave up.

“It was really difficult for them at the beginning because the load of our training is totally different from what they do in their districts. It becomes difficult to settle at the start, but I can say that they have been able to do it because they kept trying.

“When someone gives more than a hundred per cent, you can say nothing but just to help him perform more and give more tips for development of skills,” Gamel said.

Sami, the youngest in the team, said he felt great to be chosen among the senior players.

“I really feel happy and have already started looking forward to the remaining training sessions to be able to make the final cut,” Sami said.

The 18-year-old Ba lad thanked the officials for believing in him.

“I am thankful to all the officials for having faith in me and I will surely try to give in my best.”

Fiji plays Philippines on Thursday, before they face Kaya FC on Saturday.

Players: Remueru, Laisenia Raura Naioko, Kolinio Vakarauvanua Sivoki, Kavaia Rawaqa, Sakaraia Naisua, Epeli Leiroti, Napolioni Qasevakatini, Kishan Ravinesh Sami, Rusiate Matarerega, Ame Votoniu, Junior Narendra Rao, Marika Rawasoi, Epeli Saukuru, Dave Radrigai, Setareki Waqanitoga Hughes, Epeli Loaniceva, Zibraaz Hanif Sahib, Simione Moci Tamanisau, Roy Krishna, Ratu Apenisa Anare, Ratu Savenaca Nakalevu, Filipe Baravilala, Patrick Neel Joseph

Officials: Christophe Gamel (Head Coach), Shamal Sharma (Team Manager), Bal Sanju Reddy (Assistant Coach), Varoon Karan (Physio), Xavier Henneuse (Goalkeeper Coach)