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Fiji Time: 10:13 PM on Wednesday 16 April

/ Front page / Sport

U18s impress Bunnik

Arin Kumar
Saturday, December 21, 2013

INTERNATIONAL master coach Dr Burt Bunnik was impressed by the enthusiasm of members of the Fiji under-18 side.

He said the players were eager to represent the country although they were not ready for the job yet.

"Most of the players are very agile and fast," the former Netherlands national coach said.

"They are quick learners and are motivated to play for Fiji in the future."

However, he said they would need to do a lot of work before they could play at the Youth Olympic Games qualifiers in Vanuatu next March.

"The challenge is for them to keep to the sport and to keep training as much as possible.

"They want to play, they have to show that they are fit and worthy to play."

The under-18 boys and girls sides played the touring Australian Country in two matches and the main girls side managed to win a match against the visitors.

"The Australians gave them a good test and it really brought out the best in these players.

"The match also helped identify weaknesses in the side."

Dr Bunnik leaves the country this weekend and the under-18 side goes on a break for the festive season..

During their last training session yesterday, he told the players to continue learning the basics of the sport.

"I told them they could use the stick and a ball, a tennis ball would be safer, and just control the ball and move it around a bit while keeping it under control.

"I taught them mostly mastering the basics of passing, receiving, defending and the tactical practicals like three on one or three on two or three on three passing and defending."

Team coach Tai Smith said they had 29 boys and 26 girls and from that they would need to select 10 each early next year.

"We will name players in the second week of January to attend regular and vigorous training," she said.