AFL officials happy with progress

FIJI AFL team officials are happy with their preparation for their trip to Australia in two weeks’ time.

Coach Simon Highfield said for the women, Vonu coach Brenton Harris had worked tirelessly, and their skills level and ball movement was at a level the women had not seen before.

“Their performances at the upcoming competition will prove firstly that our team has improved dramatically, and I have no doubt that the Fiji women will take it to the best teams in the world,” Highfield said.

“Canada and USA are looking likely again, but wait and watch Fiji take it to them around the ball and at stoppages. Really looking forward to seeing Litia Matanisigadrau make her second appearance for Fiji on an international stage.

“The Tribe men have been fantastic, and I could not have asked more from them. Introducing a new style of play takes time, but the boys are understanding our structures and our movement patterns, and knowing their roles and responsibilities goes a long way to playing as a team and putting our team first attitude into play.

Highfield spoke highly of Benson Tuiova and Isei Moses.

“I guarantee we can score freely and quickly, we just need to provide support to our tall targets, notably Isimeli Qiolevu, Jeffery Pauli, Semesa Salavou and Nemani Qio.

“We have a perfect balance of experience and youth, and we will use this upcoming competition to really take it to the top teams from PNG and Ireland, but also build towards the future.”

He said AFL had a strong future in Fiji and they just needed to nurture their talent and support the growth from youth all the way to our seniors, but would need local and government assistance to make it happen.

“The talent is here, and Australian teams will take notice, we just need to keep pushing and making ourselves known overseas.

“We have had some sponsorship issues in the last few weeks, and sadly, with less than two weeks until we travel, we are desperate for some additional funding to make sure we can make it.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures, so if there are any local businesses or avenues for funding please make yourselves known and become part of the AFL Fiji family.”

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