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Futsal team to tour New Zealand

The team will compete in the Trans-Pacific Futsal Cup which will be played in New Zealand in December, with Fiji aiming to take part in the event annually.#Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel said Fiji FA is moving towards more strategic preparations for any national team set to take part in an international match or OFC tournament.#“Previously Fiji FA would just collect players from the national teams and send it to compete in a futsal event,” Patel said.#“Now we have players who are only playing futsal and who aren’t necessarily 11–a- side players which gives us a stronger base to build our team from.”#Patel said the tour would help the national team to prepare well for the OFC Futsal Championship in February.#”There will be another camp which will give the coach an opportunity to see other players. There are also injuries to players but our main focus is to get more players developed.”#The winner from the regional competition will gain entry to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia.#Fiji will play New Zealand on December 15, 16 and 18 while the side will also take on Waikato Bay of Plenty, Auckland Futsal Federation and FC Ferrand from New Caledonia.#The team departs on December 13.#Meanwhile Fiji FA Competitions manager Amitesh Pal said injuries in the squad have forced them to delay naming the final 16 member squad which was due to be announced last week.#”We need to assess some injuries which some of the players are carrying,” Pal said.#”We will announce 16 players for the OFC Futsal Championship after our final camp on November 28,” he said.#”14 players from the 16 will be touring New Zealand in December and two will be non-travelling reserves.”#Pal said players in the 20-member extended training squad responded well to training during a weekend camp in Suva which started last Saturday.#”We had a good training camp. We have very good boys. These are futsal boys and not 11-a-side players. They have adapted well to training and will gain some valuable experience during the trip to New Zealand.”

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