Tahiti opts to keep low profile

BY SHANE HUSSEIN
27/06/2003

Defending South Pacific Games soccer champions Tahiti has opted to keep a low profile for the men's competition.

Tahiti's national football coach Patrick Jacquemet has played down his team's chances, singling out hosts Fiji along with New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Solomons as teams to beat in the 11-day competition, which kicks off on Monday.

"Fiji is a good team, plus they have the home advantage in this tournament and they will be hard to beat. Also Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Solomons will be teams to watch out for;" said Jacquemet.

The coach tipped Fiji and the Solomons to qualify for the playoffs from Pool A.

He stated that his team was a good one, and they had prepared well for these Games.

"We had a six-week preparation, during which we played six build-up matches. The only problem we had was when one of our players broke an arm just before leaving for Fiji and could not play here."

Jacquemet said that all except one of his players play at home in Tahiti, with the only overseas-based player being striker Felix Tagawa, who plays for the Brisbane Strikers' in Australia.

Tahiti is grouped with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), PNG, New Caledonia and Tonga in Pool 2 of the men's football draws.

Pool 2 has hosts Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomons, Tuvalu and Kiribati.


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