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Coach impressed with young talents

Lal said the standard of football at the Ultimate Fiji Soccer Cup was high.#“There is lots of depth in the local team and they really match their opponents in almost every aspect,” he said. #”The teams have shown vast improvement from last year.”#The former national and Ba striker said the coaches have worked really hard in preparing their teams.#“We have teams from the South, West and North and all the teams are really doing good when we see their performance.”#Lal said different formats of the game were now being played.#“We have 5v5, 8v8 formation games played by our under- 14, 16, and 18 girls and boys teams.#“Our national U17 girls are also participating in the tournament which will give coach Yogendra Dutt the opportunity to select the best players to the 2016 Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Women’s Championship. The naming of the final squad will be done after the tournament.”#Lal said they using the Ultimate Sports tournament to select best players for the national age group teams.#”The coaches will also be selecting the Fiji men’s U17 and U20 training squads.#”As part of the long-term preparation plan, the squads will march into camp from January.#”The OFC men’s U20 Championship will be played in August next year while the U17 play-offs will be held in 2017.”#Lal said Fiji FA is taking a serious approach in the preparing the national age group teams.#“Fiji FA has established 12 development centres and 12 centres of excellence around the country which is bearing the fruit.#“Development of football in the country is on the rise with the establishment of the development centres and the centres of excellence.”#This year the Fiji men’s team played at the FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand. The Fiji U23 will participate at the 2016 Rio Olympics after qualifying from the playoffs in Papua New Guinea.#”The calibre of the players is good and they have been showing good structure during the matches.”#The tournament continues today in Ba and Nadi.#

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