Editorial comment – Go Fiji, go

The Fiji soccer team at FFA grounds after the announcement who will be facing Solomon for a friendly at ANZ Stadium tonight. Picture: RAMA

IT was good to see our golden boy of soccer Roy Krishna jetting into the country this week. He said nothing was more important to him than representing his country against international teams.

That’s good to know. In fact it is encouraging to hear top quality players speak like that.

It’s not every day that we get stars of the game willing to drop everything so to speak for a brush with fame, or whatever little there is for the national side in this region of the world.

Krishna arrived in the country to be part of the Bula Boys as they gear up to take on the might of the Solomon Islands in an international friendly match tonight at the National Stadium in Suva.

The Wellington Phoenix player said he was ready to don the national jumper against the Solomons. He was happy to be back home and quite eager to be on the field for the national side. Krishna gets an opportunity to play alongside Fiji-born England-based defender Scott Wara tonight.

That on its own is quite an exciting prospect. National coach Christophe Gamel believes tonight’s game would be a learning experience for the young players in the squad.

Without a doubt, Gamel has made a number of telling changes in our game. He appears to have set a high standard for players around the country.

One only has to look back at our forays against the Solomons and New Caledonia last year to understand the impact of Gamel’s coaching style.

As former national goalkeeper and skipper Tagi Vonolagi said last year, Gamel had set a very high standard for district team players and it was their responsibility to meet those standards for the sport to move forward.

Gamel, he said, had brought about a lot of positive changes to the game in Fiji.

The impact of the national coach’s approach, he said, had positively influenced the game in Fiji. This is why district team coaches, he reckons, should start promoting a change in mind-set among players.

Gamel’s style effectively sets a level playing field for district players and national team members.

It means, hopefully, a more co-ordinated transition from district level soccer to the pinnacle of the sport, at international level.

That means positive things for Fiji on the global platform. We must embrace a shift in mind-sets.

That means lifting our game, and being part of the process of adding value to our national team.

For today though, let us turn out in support of our national side. Go Fiji, go.

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