Sport: Fiji Football embracing daunting Olympic draw
Fiji Football says the Olympic squad is preparing as thoroughly as possible for their debut at the Rio Games, where they face group matches against Germany, Mexico and South Korea.
Fiji admit they face an almighty challenge after being drawn against footballing giants Mexico, Germany and South Korea for their Olympic debut in Rio later this year.
The team completed a six-game tour of Spain in January and head to Brazil later this month for four more matches.
Fiji Football National Teams Director Taranesh Reddy told Vinnie Wylie they face a tough task but said anything is possible.
TARANESH REDDY: When we qualified from the Oceania region we knew that there will be teams we're participating with (that) will be big teams coming from big countries. We expected that. We knew we would be in this kind of situation and we were prepared for it. We know those teams are well prepared, well polished, bigger sides but that's all part of the game and we are looking forward for that and we are preparing very well for that.
VINNIE WYLIE: What mindset do you take into this tournament. Obviously these games are going to be tough but you want to make sure you're competitive as well and do the Oceania region proud and justice and show they can be competitive?
TR: It's going to be huge games. We are preparing well for that and we hope that we will give these teams in our pool a good run. We understand that we cannot run away from the facts but these teams are big teams and you've got to prepare well if you want to compete with them and we are doing the same.
VW: And as part of those preparations Taranesh obviously the team went to Spain earlier this year and you head off next week to go to Brazil, which of course is where the Olympics is going to be held, so to get a few matches there, to be on tour there in that environment...an ideal preparation?
TR: Yes, we went and took the team to Spain for a three-weeks tour and we learnt a lot of things because in Spain, football is bigger than religion there so we had a great exposure in Spain. Then again we are going to Brazil where we are preparing to play teams and get exposed. The most important thing for us is to expose our players to that level of football and those countries...and once we come back then we will finalise the squad then we will be exposing some more players from this Olympic team in the (Oceania) Nations Cup in Papua New Guinea.
VW: How many games will the squad have in Brazil?
TR: We will be playing four matches up in Brazil.
VW: The Nations Cup of course is coming up next month in May...do you see that as something that works in well with Olympic preparations?
TR: Yes, very much. We have already started to prepare the national team for the Nations Cup so we have planned that 50 percent of the squad to the Nations Cup will be from the Olympic team squad. We have got a mixture of players in the Nations Cup - we are playing New Zealand in the first game on the 29th - and once we come back from the Brazil tour on the eighth we will straight away go into preparations for the Nations Cup, which starts at the end of the May. Yes, Roy Krishna is in the country. He is around. He will be a part of the team from next week. He will not be going to Brazil with the Olympic team but definitely he will be be there for the Nations Cup and come Rio Games.
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