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Grassroots football development

Zanzeer Singh
Friday, December 08, 2017

THE Fiji Football Association is using the Ultimate Fiji Cup as part of its grassroots development program.

The annual event started in the Western Division this week and is organised by Australia-based company Ultimate Sports Travel and Events and features teams from abroad playing in tournament format against the locals.

The tournament is played in different grades from the under-12 to the U18 level.

Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf said the tournament gave the local players exposure.

He said the development of women's football started with the tournament some years back.

"Our teams are selected from the three zones, North, West and South," Yusuf said.

"This tournament gives an opportunity for the players to come into a camping environment which has top-class training conducted by our development officers."

Ultimate Fiji Cup media coordinator Haris Strangas said the inaugural tournament commenced in 2010 with a vision to develop junior football.

Strangas said following the success of the first year, the passion spread throughout Oceania.

"In 2012, we introduced the girl's division to run alongside the men's division," he said.

"In 2013 and 2014 we enhanced the program further with the introduction of an U13 competition with the overall aim of developing players through the national coaching curriculum.

"In 2016 we welcomed the U11 boys to experience international football. This year we have over 800 young players. Many of the tournament's young players are lovers of the game and have the aspiration, motivation and drive to develop their skills for a professional platform. "

The Ultimate Fiji Cup continues in Ba, Lautoka and Nadi today.

Results: (G18) Fiji North 2 (G18) Fiji South 0, (B12) Lautoka 0 (B12) Ba 6, (B16) Fiji West 1 (B16) Fiji South 0, (B14) Nadi 2 (B14) Lautoka 0, (G17) IFG 0 (G18) Fiji West 0, (B18) IFG Australia 2 (B18) Fiji West 1, (G15) South Australia 2 (G16) Fiji North 2, (B16) South Australia 1 (B16) Fiji North 1, (G15) South Australia 6 (G16) Fiji South 0, (G15) IFG Australia 3 (G16) Fiji North 1, (B16) South Australia 5 (B16) Fiji South 0, (B16) IFG NSW 0 (B16) Fiji North 0, (G17) IFG 2 (G18) 1 (G18) Fiji South 1, (B18) IFG Australia 0 (B18) Fiji South 0, (G17) IFG 2 (G18) Fiji West 1, (B18) IFG Australia 1 (B18) Fiji West 1, (B14) Ba 1 (B14) IFG 1, (B12) Ba 4 (B12) IFG Kangaroos 0, (B12) Lautoka 2 (B12) IFG Kangaroos 7.

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