Sport: Solomon Islands defend Oceania Futsal title
Solomon Islands are looking ahead to the Futsal World Cup after defending their Oceania crown.
Solomon Islands have defended their Oceania Futsal title in emphatic style to qualify for a third straight World Cup.
The Kurukuru went undefeated in Suva and have now won five straight regional titles.
The Deputy CEO of the Solomon Islands Football Federation, Joseph Boso, admitted there had been doubts surrounding their chances, due to a lack of preparation, but told Vinnie Wylie that big-match experience proved to be the difference.
JOSEPH BOSO: Especially against New Zealand it was crucial that the players remained calm and calculating throughout the match. I think if New Zealand had that World Cup experience it would be a much much tighter affair or a different story but with the benefit of two World Cups on the backs of the players they had the experience to get the job done. But, yes, there's been doubt - locally as well. We've been dealing with a lot of criticism about the way futsal is going in Solomon Islands. We've struggled for a number of years, even with the [Solomon Islands Football] Federation itself undergoing a lot of changes in administration and that's affected the game across the board with beach soccer, futsal and also the eleven-a-side discipline. What this win will mean is that there will be a renewed focus for the development of futsal in Solomon Islands and we need to move forward with our programme. Especially, still we are without any international standard futsal pitch in the country - that's even after two World Cups and qualifying for a third, and then after five Oceania titles. We are now working very hard with FIFA and Oceania Football Confederation to make sure that we have a futsal pitch that the boys could use to train and prepare for such competitions in the future but I think this renewed focus and momentum will make sure that we will put together plans that will help us to remain competitive for many years to come.
VINNIE WYLIE: It's seven months until the next World Cup in Colombia. Four years ago Solomon Islands had a historic victory over Guatemala in the group stages. How confident are you that the team's going to have adequate preparation for this World Cup? Is there plans in place to go on a tour or get some matches in and actually get a substantial preparation?
JB: Now it's very clear what needs to be done, with the experience of the last World Cup, but now there's a stronger administration with a new president and a new executive that is determined to get results and I think there will be a stronger backing for the team. Already there is talk about sorting out a training programme that will help us to go beyond where we were at the last World Cup.
VW: Is there the financial resources required to ensure that your preparation is as good as it can be?
JB: That's a very important question because you have to match the financial resources with whatever objectives you want to achieve and often that is a limitation for us smaller countries in the region and especially in Solomon Islands it is very very difficult to raise funds to achieve the goals that you want to in sports. This team already has a lot of support with the corporate sector - over the years they have built a good rapport with local companies and we've seen a lot of support from the government as well and I think we will be able to get the resources needed to give this team the right preparation that it needs to achieve the results that not only Solomon Island wants but what Oceania wants to achieve in the Futsal World Cup. I really believe that with the right resources and the right plan behind them we will be able to achieve more and do better than we did last time.
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