The Ba Football Club is geared up for their opening match against defending champions Team Wellington today at Korman Stadium in Port Villa, Vanuatu.
Coach Ronil Kumar is under no illusion about the magnitude of the task in front of his troops against the champions, but he remains optimistic about his side’s prospects.
“Our aim is to qualify for the quarter-finals.
“We are happy with the preparations and the boys are eager to play our first match against the defending champions.
“It doesn’t get tougher than that but we know what’s ahead, we are ready to play and I’m confident my team will give them a tough game, we have our own game plan against them and we will stick to that,” said Kumar.
With the mix of experienced players like national representative and 2014-15 OFC Champions League Golden Boot winner Saula Waqa and a number of young emerging talent including 18-year old Fiji international Kishan Sami, the Ba FC coach feels his team has the right balance.
“We have a good mix of youth and experience and our four or five youngsters have settled and gelled well with our senior players, so hopefully they can step up and help to deliver a positive result for us in our first match,” Kumar added.
His counterpart Team Wellington coach Jose Figueira says his team can’t take anything for granted against the Fijians.
“Obviously we’ve played Ba a couple of seasons ago in New Caledonia so we have a little bit of experience against them and we have some local inside information and I can see the make up of their team is similar.
“However, when facing the first game like in any tournament it’s a little bit unknown so the focus will be purely on ourselves.
“We know they have some quality players who can change a game and a few international players with experience with the national team and we will be making sure that we enter this games with the correct mindset, fully focused and prepared for a very difficult challenge,” insisted the Team Wellington coach.
OFC Champions League 2019 – Group C
Team Wellington [WLG] vs. Ba FC [BAF]
Port Vila, Vanuatu, Saturday 23 Feb
Kick-off: 14:00 local (1500 FT)
Referee: Norbert HAUATA (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Philippe REVEL (TAH)
Assistant Referee 2: Sione TEU (TGA)
Fourth Official: Hamilton SIAU (SOL)
Team List: 1. Scott BASALAJ, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario ILICH, 6. Taylor SCHRIJVERS, 7. Eric MOLLOY, 8. Henry CAMERON, 10. Nathanael HAILEMARIAM, 11. Bill ROBERTSON, 13. Daniel MULHOLLAND, 14. Jack-Henry SINCLAIR, 15. Joel STEVENS, 16. Angus KILKOLLY, 17. Alexander PALEZEVIC, 18. Aaron CLAPHAM, 19. Ross ALLEN, 20.Tiahn MANUEL, 22. Marcel KAMPMAN (GK)
Coach: Jose FIGUEIRA (England)
Team List: 1. Misiwani NAIRUBE, 2. Avinesh SUWAMY, 3. Shazil ALI, 4. Manasa NAWAKULA, 5. Sitiveni CAVUILAGI, 6. Simione NABENU, 7. Ratu DAU, 8. Darold KAKASI, 9. Abbu ZAHID, 10. Savenaca NAKALEVU, 11. Ilimotama JESE, 12. Kishan SAMI, 13. Malakai RAKULA, 16. Malakai TIWA, 17. Narend RAO, 19. Kalaveti SIVOI, 21. Atunaisa NAUCUKIDI (GK), 22. Josaia RATU, (GK)
Coach : Ronil KUMAR (Fiji)
For Live Stream click below