Sport: Former Tahiti beach soccer coach still close with team
The former Tiki Toa coach Angelo Schirinzi returned to Tahiti this month as part of preparations for the upcoming Beach Soccer World Cup.
The former Tahiti beach soccer coach Angelo Schirinzi believes the territory can be a contender at this year's World Cup in Portugal.
Schirinzi guided the Tiki Toa to a fourth place finish at the 2013 tournament in Papeete, which was played in front of packed home crowds.
He returned this month in his role as player-coach with the Swiss national team, and told Vinnie Wylie that, despite no longer having any formal role with Tahiti, he will always have an ongoing relationship with the team.
ANGELO SCHIRINZI: It's a special situation because I worked a lot and had a nice time with Tahiti - spent a beautiful time at the World Cup - but coming back with Switzerland was, on the one hand, good for us to prepare and the other hand it was also, for me, it's a special situation because Tahiti players they also play in the Swiss national league, so they are good friends and of course it was a nice time to be there and go back.
VINNIE WYLIE: And I guess some of those Tahitian players playing in the Swiss league is a reflection of their performances two years ago so we can see the development of the Tahiti team?
AS: Yes, they are well known in the beach soccer world and this relationship between me and the Tahiti players is not only since 2013. A lot before, in 2010, I went as a beach soccer FIFA instructor I went to Tahiti and then I worked for the first time with these players. I invited them to come to Switzerland to play in the national league and they had a lot of success. It's a good relationship and a long-term relationship.
VW: With less than two months until the World Cup, what do you make of Switzerland's chances and what do you make of Tahiti's chances?
I would prefer Tahiti and Switzerland in the final - this is clear. First of all I am there as a Swiss and as the Swiss national team coach. My object is - as number two in the FIFA World Rankings - Switzerland wants to go to the final but I also wish Tahiti a big tournament. I think they can do it. At the moment they are no more the surprising team, they will be already an established team, which the other teams respect them a lot, so it will be maybe not so easy like in the World Cup [in 2013] because nobody knew Tahiti. At the other hand they have no pressure now because in 2013 when the Beach Soccer World Cup was in Tahiti all players had a lot of pressure: family and the whole nation was behind them so it was also pressure. I think they have an opportunity - go outside and show what they can.
VW: Having coached them two years ago, do you think the team in 2015 is better? Have they developed or is it at a similar level?
AS: Unfortunately not because after the World Cup they were forced from the federation to go back to football and play the O-League so they missed a little bit to train and in the last two years they have not many matches. This is a little bit disappointing. At the other hand, they are now together and with this training camp, with the Swiss team, they started to train recently and maybe in the next two months they can improve.
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