29 Sep 2016

Sport: Solomon Islands take learnings from Futsal World Cup

1:03 pm on 29 September 2016

Despite failing to win a match, Solomon Islands believe they largely held their own at the Futsal World Cup in Colombia.

The Kurukuru were beaten 4-2 by Costa Rica and 7-3 by Argentina before a 10-0 thrashing at the hands of Kazakhstan in their final group match.

Coach Juliano Schmeling says his players were very competitive in the first two matches but admits they ran out of steam by the time of their final encounter.

"The players improved a lot - not just for the tournament but the whole preparation. We did a very nice game against Costa Rica, nice game against Argentina - they only one was against Kazakhstan we didn't have enough strength physical (and) mental to play against that game but looking at the whole tournament I think it was very positive for us," he said.

"We had a chance against Costa Rica. It was a very open game - I think they could win and we could win as well, Against Argentina we knew it was very difficult but the way we prepared and played against them was very positive because we had very nice moments going against a top country in the world and they are in the semi finals now."

The Solomon Islands Futsal team celebrate the 5-0 victory over Fiji and a 2016 OFC Championship.

The Kurukuru team during the Oceania Championship. Photo: OFC

"Against Kazakhstan was the only game I was expecting a little bit more. We couldn't have (the required) fitness strength and mental strength," he said.

"Definitely it was because they did everything the first game against Costa Rica, the second game against Argentina and definitely it was affected because of the first two games. If we had a whole team who had more experienced players in high level competition then we could perform better I believe but for me it's totally understandable.

"It's about the reality we have. I've been dealing with boys who are amateur players and not professional players. They don't have the strength, they don't have the competition to play every single weekend, like Kazakhstan has a bigger league, Argentina a stronger league, Costa Rica a stronger league - all the facilities - so for me it's pretty natural."

Solomon Islands futsal coach Juliano Schmeling.

Solomon Islands futsal coach Juliano Schmeling. Photo: OFC Media

Juliano Schmeling said he will sit down the Solomon Islands Football Federation this week to review their performances and determine what is required for the future.

He said a handful of Kurukuru players have attracted interest from professional clubs overseas, which could be confirmed in the coming weeks.