18 Jan 2017

Sport: Samoa football coach confident team will qualify

7:38 am on 18 January 2017

Samoa's Lupe Ole Soaga football team has every reason to be confident of qualifying for the OFC Champions League group stage, if their coach is to be believed.

Paul Ualesi led the team to the same stage in 2015, defeating the likes of Puaikura, Lotoha'apai United and SKBC along the way.

Lupe Ole Soaga missed out on Champions League play altogether last year, with the Kiwi club representing Samoa, and also making the group stage.

However Ualesi spent 2016 building on his coaching skills and taking the Samoa Under 20 team under his wing.

He said it had made him a good coach.

"It's really good as a coach for the islands as I build up more experience and exposure to the level of coaches as well and I've learnt a lot from 2015 until now," he said.

Champions league qualifying begin in Tonga on January 28 with Lupe Ole Soaga doing battle with the Cook Islands' Puaikura, American Samoa's Utulei Youth and the home side Veitongo in an effort to grab the two remaining berths in the group stages.