U20 soccer team to play four A-League clubs

THE Ravinesh Kumar-coached Fiji under-20 team will play four matches against A-League clubs in Australia next month.

The tour is part of the team’s preparations for the inaugural Oceania Football Confederation President’s Cup in New Zealand from November 17-23.

The tour will give the players exposure as they build towards the FIFA U20 World Cup next year.

Kumar said they were in the process of arranging the matches for the Australian tour.

“We have confirmation from some clubs but are not sure if we will play the main team or the development team,” he said.

“But definitely we will be facing strong opposition. It will be a very good build up and exposure for the boys. After playing those four matches we will then go to New Zealand.”

Meanwhile, the OFC has announced the make-up of the President’s Cup.

The competition has attracted six teams from three confederations with Oceania champions Auckland City FC, Amicale of Vanuatu, Bodden Town from the Cayman Islands, former Bahraini champions Busaiteen FC, Fiji U20 and Singapore U23.

In a press release OFC president and FIFA vice president David Chung said the competition was designed to strengthen Oceania’s ties with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

“The purpose of the OFC President’s Cup is to offer opportunities for teams within our region to gain important experiences against teams from other nations outside Oceania,” Chung said.

“At the same time this competition also builds important relationships with confederations with whom we share a lot in common.

“Bodden Town (CONCACAF) and Busaiteen FC (AFC) are two clubs with strong links in their confederations and by involving them in the spirit of competition we can further strengthen our ties in that part of the football world.

“From an operational perspective we also embrace the opportunity to work more closely with the local football community in New Zealand and football stakeholders such as New Zealand Football (NZF), the local organising committee (LOC) for the FIFA U20 World Cup, Auckland Football Federation and the Northern Football Federation.”

Through a joint partnership with the Just Play program, OFC and UNICEF, the tournament will also celebrate 25 years of children’s rights.