18 April, 2015, 12:00 am
CAN the so-called leaders of Fiji Football Association please brief the public of their long term vision for Fiji soccer, if there is any?
As far as I can see and hear FFA is basically living the moment. Lots of tournaments and sponsorships are in the daily news. Everyone concerned about the immediate future.
What we don’t hear is school soccer and it is here where our success will come from.
It’s a long term vision and one that requires real hard work. Current sponsorship deals are in the hundreds of thousands, money that should be directed to the development of schools soccer.
The development of soccer in all schools throughout the country will form the cornerstone of Fiji becoming a great soccer nation in the future. No doubt we have the physicality and talent as we portray in rugby and netball and with proper development we certainly can become a powerhouse in world soccer.
I believe because FFA is too short-sighted and lack vision and direction, the Education Ministry, under its physical education section, should take over the development and promotion of youth soccer and play a much more prominent role in developing and managing a schools soccer league system that will engage more children into the sport of soccer. Soccer courses at all class levels should be made mandatory under the physical education program. FFA needs to make themselves useful in providing technical training to physical education teachers to ensure students are coached in the right way.
The end result should culminate with the top 10-20 secondary schools forming a talent pool for our elite national team.
Fiji would have already reached a global level if the game had been promoted earlier in schools throughout the nation.
I strongly believe that with the proper set-up we can produce great soccer talent and also be ranked one of the top 50 soccer nations in the world.
Soccer is number one and the most popular sport in the world and having our national team playing top level soccer will bring about great benefits.