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Fiji Time: 7:31 PM on Saturday 23 August

/ Front page / Sport

Call for support

Arin Kumar
Thursday, May 22, 2014

NATIONAL under-19 soccer coach Ravinesh Kumar is urging soccer lovers to be at the ANZ Stadium tomorrow and the whole of next week.

The Fiji U19 side will compete in the Oceania Football Confederation Under-20 Championship, which serves as the U20 World Cup Oceania qualifiers.

He said home crowd support would boost his side's chances of qualifying for the U20 World Cup to be held in New Zealand.

"Recently, we have noticed that the number of home fans have dropped significantly," Kumar said.

"The presence of fans at the stadium will give confidence to the players and motivate them to perform better."

He said there were times when the home fans were large in number but they did not cheer at all.

"A good example is the OFC Champions League which was played in Ba and Lautoka last month where the home fans didn't cheer as loudly as our fellow island visitors did.

"The fans of the Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea teams were small in numbers but their cheers could be heard all around the park.

"We need the same kind of support here from this Friday until the end of the competition.

"This is because there are a lot of students from island nations like PNG, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands and they will definitely come in large numbers to back their teams.

"So we would need our friends, families and fans to come and cheer for us as well."

Meanwhile, Kumar will name his captain for the tournament today.

Former captain Jale Dreloa is tipped to retain the skipper's arm band but Kumar said the coaching team would decide on that today.


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