Key to win
4 April, 2018, 12:00 am
VODAFONE Lautoka players have been reminded to be disciplined when the side takes on AS Dragon in the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Champions League quarter-final at the Stade Pater in Pirae, Tahiti on Saturday.
Lack of discipline has cost the local teams dearly on numerous occasions against overseas opponents.
The side will miss the services of rugged defender Ilaitia Tuilau who is attending to some personal commitments.
Lautoka left for New Zealand yesterday and will have a few training sessions there before heading to Tahiti.
Team coach Kamal Swamy said their training sessions on the weekend were disrupted by Tropical Cyclone Josie.
Swamy said national coach Christophe Gamel attended the team’s last training run in the country on Monday and motivated the players.
“We encountered adverse weather in the build up to this weekend’s match and our preparations were hampered,” he said.
“There were hiccups at training. But the good thing is that we are travelling to New Zealand and will spend some time training there.
“So far there are no major injury concerns.
“Ilaitia is not travelling with the team as he is attending to some personal commitments and also has a slight injury.”
AS Dragon topped its group to secure a home quarter-final while Lautoka was placed second in Group C behind defending champions Auckland City.
“We have had a talk with the players regarding representing the team and the country,” Swamy said.
“The national coach also took a few sessions with the boys.
“He gave them a motivational talk so they know that it is important to maintain discipline.
“Representing the county is an honour and all the players have been reminded on that and they are focused on the game.”