THE Vanuatu Futsal National Team is currently in full preparations for the Wantok Futsal Tournament in Honiara, next month.
This year the Wantok Futsal Tournament will be staged in Honiara from April 8 to 15.
Wan Smol Bag Shefa Futsal confirmed the Vanuatu Futsal Club, Wan Smol Bag Shefa Futsal which will be representing Vanuatu in this tournament is in full preparations for the challenge.
“We have been preparing since last year and continuing from January this year. Our participation in the National Provincial Games last year in Santo was also part of this preparation. We ensure we find the right team and players for the tournament. And the National Games’ Shefa participation in futsal was a huge success which saw the champion gold medalist was the WSB Shefa Futsal Team.
“Therefore we are selecting this team for the Wantok Futsal Challenge in Honiara in April,” Mr Anis said.
“Our major aim is to portray a good performance in Honiara and test the Solomon Islands strongest and best ever played futsal which is a huge difference from the futsal styles we have in the country
“With the huge representation of Kurukuru in the Futsal World Cup, it will be interesting to see the impacts of their exposure in this tournament. Two years down the road, we have group up the U20s in which five of them are now in the National under 20 Football Team to play in Korea representing Vanuatu.”
He said a few of them moved on with football but more continued to stay with futsal and are now in the national futsal team to go to Honiara.
“We have high hopes that our team will perform well and win this tournament but it is in their hands to proof themselves throughout this tournament.
“It will be a challenging trip since other clubs in Vanuatu could not make it due to inadequate support that futsal is having and there will be 19 Solomon Islands based clubs we will be competing with,” Mr Anis said.
The Vanuatu team consisted of 10 players and three officials.
He said since the start of the tournament in Vanuatu in 2014, Tupuji magic Futsal team won the tournament representing Vanuatu and Vanuatu’s Aveck Futsal Club won the second edition in 2015. Therefore it has been a great achievement for Vanuatu Futsal so far because they have been winning this tournament since the start of it.
However, Mr Anis stressed that with the absence of some clubs due to budget constraints and inadequate support will be a huge challenge for the Vanuatu Team that will be participating.
“It doesn’t mean that the team is not good enough but looking at the home ground advantage where huge support is given from the fans,” he said.
“But now that it will be played outside of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands will take the advantage with their crowds of fans cheering and supporting their team.
“We have fundraised a total of VT 450,000 and the Wan Smol Bag Theatre is assisting with the airfares. Shefa Province is also supporting the team and has been supporting Shefa Futsal.”
He said the Wan Smol Bag Shefa Futsal is also seeking any kind of contribution from any leaders or individuals towards the Vanuatu Futsal Team in this tournament.
The winner of this year’s challenge will qualify to compete in next year’s Wantok Challenge that will be hosted in either Vanuatu or New Caledonia.