18 Sep 2013

Sport: High hopes for Oceania teams at Beach Soccer World Cup

10:04 am on 18 September 2013

Oceania Football is optimistic that familiar surroundings will translate into a successful tournament for Beach Soccer World Cup participants Tahiti and the Solomon Islands.

Tahiti are hosting the 2013 tournament, which starts on Wednesday local time in Papeete, while the Solomons will be making their fifth appearance.

Oceania Football's Beach Soccer and Futsal Development Officer Paul Toohey says playing the tournament in the Pacific region will hopefully work in their favour.

"They've spent a lot of time as kids on the sand playing football and I think that's one of the reasons why they've adapted to the game so well and Tahiti also, a lot of informal football played in near the beaches. Once you mix that with the high-level knowledge of a guy like Angelo then you get the strong mentality of the players too. Some of them have worked really hard over the last two years and I think it's a great mix of the Pacific and the knowledge from Europe - that's why we're really excited by the prospects of these teams."

The Solomons play the Netherlands on Thursday local time with Tahiti taking on the United Arab Emirates.