Blues to miss 3

Action from the Tavua-Dreketi match last Sunday. Picture: FIJI FA MEDIA

REIGNING champion Lautoka will miss the services of three key players in this year’s Courts Inter District Championship.

Tough defender Ilaitia Tuilau has moved to New Zealand while striker Lesari Qalica and Arami Manumanubai will feature for the newly promoted Nasinu side.

Despite the timely inclusion of Ba striker Samuela Nabenia and Rewa’s Sairusi Nalaubu, team president Abdul Kadar said defending the title would be a huge challenge for his troops.

Lautoka has been drawn in the same pool alongside past winners Ba, Labasa and Nasinu.

Kadar said the side had started its defence campaign preparations this week and was confident of a good outing in Suva.

“It’s unfortunate to lose three players but it will not deter our boys from producing the goods,” he said.

“We have started our preparation and the boys have been urged to play their hearts out.

“Defending the title is not easy and we know all teams will come out firing to snatch the title away from us. I believe the boys will use the absence of these three players to inspire them during the tournament,” he said.

Kadar said the side could not afford to underestimate any team because all had equal chances of winning.

He said Nasinu had been strengthened by the inclusion of 11 new players joining them from other districts.

“We cannot afford to underestimate any teams and of course Nasinu will be a tough nut to crack.”

The IDC will be played at the ANZ Stadium on October 9 with the winner to receive $20,000.

More Stories