The Rakiraki football side has sent a strong warning to other teams that not to underestimate them in the upcoming Vodafone Fiji FACT at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori.
Association president Shaneel Goundar made this statement after the westerners held a star studded Lautoka side 1-1 in the Vodafone Premier League fixture at Churchill Park in Lautoka last Sunday.
Goundar said the draw was a morale boost for his team and players.
“The draw against Lautoka has given us more strength and I am sure we can put our heads up after scoring first against the top team of Fiji,” Goundar said.
Goundar said the performed because of the assistant provided by the Australian coach.
“All the credit goes to Shaam Lal for coming on board and assisting us in this difficult time, “he said.
Goundar said what Lal has done to the association in just few days were very much appreciated.
Lal, a former Lautoka rep helped the Maroons to a surprise 1-all draw against the Blues in the Vodafone Premier League at Churchill Park on Sunday.
The draw earned the Rakiraki team its first points in the competition since moving to the top flight this season.
Gounder said they had very short time to prepare for the Lautoka fixture.
“If all the players had been together for a couple of days then we could have done more damage. I’m very proud of the boys because they played their hearts out with passion for the jersey. I just hope that the hidden talents would be identified in the team for national duties.”
Gounder said there was a massive turnaround in the attitude of the players since Lal’s arrival.
“The players will march into camp on Wednesday in preparation for the Fiji FACT,” he said.
“We will talk with Lal and hope to get him back. Rakiraki is a small district so we need all the support that we can to do well this season.”
In the Fiji FACT defending champion Nadi is in Pool A with Ba, Labasa and Dreketi while Suva, Lautoka, Rewa and Rakiraki are in Pool B. The pool games of the Fiji FACT will start at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori next Friday.