Solomon Islands National under 17 team is calling for the release of their star player, Raphael Le’ai to be part of the youth side’s campaign in the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Futsal Championship currently underway.
Speaking to RAW SPORTS, the team’s mentor and spiritual leader, Pastor Nacanieli Seru said that they are waiting on their wonder boy’s release from club Marist FC, as they are using the competition to prepare towards the Youth Olympic Games next year.
“We want our players together, at this young age it is important for them to gain mutual understanding on each other’s playing pattern.
“Evidently are the senior national futsal side (Kurukuru) the players grew up playing together thus their combination on the court is exceptional because they understand each other. And that’s the concept we want to put in practice with the youth team, familiar with each other’s way of play.
He added that 3 members of the team were already released by their clubs teaming up for the SIFF Futsal championship; however Raphael is the only player currently on hold from the Youth Oceania champions.
“He is very influential our target man and the master minder of most of our set piece play.
“We wanted to build the team having these players for the competition.
Seru also said that the team wants to avoid any last minute changes prior to the international competition.
“As commonly practiced in the country teams get together 2 or 3 months before heading into competitions, for that we don’t want such to occur, we want ourselves to be well prepared having all of our players going to the international arena.
The national youth side, booked their ticket to the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina following an impressive clean dominating wins in the OFC Youth Championship.
Young Le’ai was the golden boot recipient, scored 35 goals in 6 matches. His outstanding performances also earned him the best player of the tournament award.
He featured for his club Marist during the opening day of the SIFF Futsal competition also instrumental during their 8-2 thrashing of Koloale on Day 1 of competition.