4 Aug 2011

Sport: Cook Islands footballers keen to punch above their weight

10:56 am on 4 August 2011

The Cook Islands football coach Maurice Tillotson wants his team to punch above their weight at the Pacific Games, which starts at the end of this month.

He's drawn players from Cook Islands, Australia and New Zealand in his team to travel to New Caledonia.

Tillotson says they don't get to play many games together because of the difficulty in assembling the squad but says the time at the Pacific Games will be a good opportunity for the team to develop.

"The boys have been working very hard here - you know training hard. We've had one or two injury problems, which is a bit worrying, but as I said they'll be fit and they'll be competitive and that's the main thing. I should be able to gain quite a lot of knowledge about our own players but also see the opposition and the players themselves, they're the main ones. They're bound to gain quite a bit of experience from these games."

The Cook Islands will complete their Games warm-up with a match against New Zealand club side Waitakere United in Rarotonga in two weeks time.