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Best team named

Rashneel Kumar
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

THE Vodafone Fiji under-20 soccer side has named an exciting team for the Oceania Football Confederation U20 Championship which starts this Friday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

Coach Ravinesh Kumar has retained some players from last year's team and roped in some U17 reps alongside a few fresh faces.

The national side which finished runners-up in the championship last year will have six players returning from that campaign.

Among the elite retained in the team are Kolinio Sivoki, Jale Dreloa, Setareki Hughes, Narendra Rao and Samuela Nabenia.

Four players from the U17 team have been promoted while 10 players will make their OFC debut in the week-long championship.

Star striker Iosefo Verevou, goalkeeper Waisea Yavala, midfielder Kelvin Naidu, striker Aveen Kumar and defender Samuela Gavo were earlier dropped because of indiscipline.

"We have some players from the U17 and we have retained some from last year's U20 who are eligible to play. I would say it's a good mixture," coach Kumar told OFC.

"I would say every team will be preparing well because they know the chances of qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. We will take each team one by one.

"There will be an advantage because they will be gaining some confidence having the home crowd with their families and friends in it.

"I will say that we will perform to the best of our ability, but I won't say anything about winning or losing. We will be doing our best in the tournament."

Fiji has to beat American Samoa, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to qualify for the World Cup.

Fiji U20 squad

Goalkeepers - Shaneel Naidu, Misiwani Nairube; Defenders - Antonio Tuivuna, Kolinio Sivoki, Jale Dreloa, Josefa Koroi, Mohammed Khan, Mataiasi Toma; Midfielders - Praneel Naidu, Setareki Hughes, Narendra Rao, Garish Prasad, Ratu Waqa, Jonetani Buksh, Nickel Chand, Al-Taaf Sahib, Ravnit Chand; Forwards - Samuela Nabenia, Saula Waqa, Ashnil Raju

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