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Avinesh to lead Blues at Fiji FACT

Zanzeer Singh
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

MIDFIELDER Alvin Avinesh will spearhead Lautoka's campaign at the Vodafone Fiji FACT which starts at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori on Friday.

Avinesh, one of the senior players has been handed the captain's armband as the Blues hunt their first Fiji FACT title in 12 years.

The Blues will not lack experience in the two-weekend tournament.

Coach Dennis Singh has named players such as Jone Vonu Jr, Semesa Nakosia, Isikeli Jeke, Poasa Bainivalu, Zibraaz Sahib, Kavaia Rawaqa and Eran Underwood in the final 22 member squad.

Singh said focus had been on fitness at training in the past three weeks.

"The Fiji FACT will be different playing three 90-minute pool games in as many days," he said.

"Then we are looking forward to qualifying for the semi-finals. So we have worked very hard on fitness. It is now for the players to manage their positions on the field."

Lautoka is pooled with defending champions Nadi, Suva and Navua.

The Blues face Suva in their opening match on Friday, Nadi on Saturday and Navua on Sunday.

Singh said their schedule was tough.

"We have Suva and Nadi in our pool and they have defeated us in the National Football League," he said.

"So the first two matches will be tough because they play different styles of football and we will have to work out our game plan to counter them."

Lautoka last won the Fiji FACT title back in 2002 beating Nasinu on penalty shootout.

Singh said the senior players would have to deliver.

"We have selected some senior players because when it comes to tournaments experience counts a lot," he said.

"They can stand up and deliver with confidence which is important. But most of the players in the squad have not tasted victory at tournament level and that is what I have been telling them all along.

"I have been preparing them mentally and there is no reason why we cannot do well at this tournament."

A lot of pressure is on the team to perform after finishing round one of the National Football League with only one win from seven games.

Singh said recovery would be the biggest concern for all teams.

He said playing three 90-minute football matches in as many days is not a joke.

"Recovery will be a concern for all the teams," the former Ba, Lautoka and Labasa rep said.





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