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Fiji prepped for Tongan challenge

Fiji Football Association vice-president and national team director Tarunesh Reddy says the side has been in camp since the Battle of the Giants concluded a week ago and are up for the challenge.#The latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings see the sides evenly matched at 189th in the world, but the Melanesians are traditionally stronger than their Polynesian opponents.#However Reddy says historical results will not INFLUENCE Fiji’s approach.#”We are not taking them lightly as we know they will come prepared to face us,” he says.#”The boys have been gelling well with their game structure and are all fit to deliver their best tonight. Our last game was against the #Wellington Phoenix and the team played very well so we are confident they will do well against our visitors.”#Helping lead the charge will be newly appointed captain Osea Vakatalesau.#The 29-year-old striker is renowned for his on-field passion and the team MANAGEMENT have confidence in his ability to step into the leadership role.#”I have a lot of faith in Osea,” Reddy says.#”He’s one of those players that brings a lot to the national team. He always plays with a lot of heart and that’s something I want to see in all national team players.”#Reddy says the pair have a lot of combined experience which will assist players from the U-20 and U-23 squads who will be making the step up to senior level.#”They are great ambassadors of local football. They’ve played at the highest level and did everyone proud by playing very well for Amicale in the OFC Champions League this year.”#Fiji and Tonga will play at Prince Charles Park in Nadi this evening, before taking on American Samoa on Thursday 27 August.#

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