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Vodafone backs football development

Defending champions Kamil Muslim College of Ba have been drawn in a tough pool for next month’s Vodafone Secondary Schools Football Championship. They face Nadi Muslim College, Naleba College from Labasa, Sigatoka Methodist High School and Tailevu North College in Pool C. #This pool has been classed as the Pool of Death with Nadi Muslim and Naleba College posing a real threat to the champions. Pool A has Bulileka College from Labasa, Tavua College, Central College from Lautoka, Nadi Sangam College and Baulevu High School. Khalsa College which ended their 37-year wait to be part of the tournament join Drasa Secondary, Kavanagasau College, DAV College Suva and Vunimono High School in Pool B while Pool D comprises of Labasa’s Tabia College, Nukuloa College from Ba, and Natabua High School.#Vodafone Fiji’s dealer manager Avichal Prasad said they are proud to be the name behind the development of football in the country. #“The true reflection of our passion and commitment for the sport could see in our bid to firm-up the foundation of football by support to the grass root level of Football in the country. Through our financial boost we assist in facilitating their training and development programmes,” said Prasad. #He reiterated the importance of training and exposure for the young players to foster growth of future stars and football in Fiji. #“We have already witnessed players nurtured in these competitions joining the Vodafone Fiji U20 team that made the country proud by being the first ever Fiji team to qualify to the FIFA World Cup arena and played world class teams to the likes of Germany and Honduras. Adding to this we saw this players fly off the MECCA of Football; Brazil to play at the highest stage the Rio Olympics. Am sure each and every one of you are looking forward for our stars to take on the likes of Germany, Mexico and South Korea in the coming days. “ #Fiji Secondary School’s Association president Aminesh Ram thanked Vodafone Fiji for its third year of sponsorship and said this year’s tournament is special in many ways.#He said Northern Division schools would be making an appearance in the tournament this year after missing out last year and for the first time they will also have finals in the U15 and U17 competition to give more game time and exposure to lower age grade players. #Ram also announced that for the first time in the history of the tournament, they will have eight schools represented in the girl’s division and this reflected their commitment to develop football at all levels. #Schools operated by the Arya Prathinidhi Sabha of Fiji will also for the first time feature in the tournament. #Fiji FA vice-president Yogeshwar Singh said the parent body is doing all its best to assist in youth development and secondary schools football helped them to identify and nurture players for national duties. #He said competitions like the Secondary Schools IDC allows scouts to identify potential talents and teachers should encourage students to also see football as a career path and used the example of Fiji’s lone professional footballer Roy Krishna. He was first identified playing for All Saints Secondary School at the Inter District Championship in Ba more than a decade ago. #Singh also urged the Association to start Futsal competition in schools as the shorter code of football is fast developing around the world and will give the youngsters a healthy lifestyle and help them build a good career in the sport. # #Meanwhile, Labasa College, Natabua High School, Tavua College and Baulevu High School will feature in the U17 competition while Nadogo Central College, DAV College Suva, Ba Sangam College and another school (yet to be determined) will compete in the U15 grade competition. #Ahmadiya Secondary School from Seaqaqa, Bua College, All Saints Secondary School, Seaqaqa Central College, AD Patel College, Xavier College, Kamil Muslim College and Nasinu Secondary School will feature in the girl’s competition and the pools will be drawn next weekend. #The 2016 Vodafone Fiji Secondary Schools Football Championship will be played from August 11-14 at the Fiji FA Academy grounds and Xavier College.#The Secondary Schools Championship has grown in stature since its inception in 1957 with the many schools entering the competition. #This year a total of 28 teams will take part in the boy’s Under 19, 17 and 15 divisions and 8 schools competing in the girls division as they clash for the title.#

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