If there was no COVID-19 we would be months away the fourth participation in a row of Solomon Islands at the world’s most important Futsal event: FIFA Futsal World Cup. As this does not match the reality, we can only state by now the Kurukuru resumed their preparations for the tournament that will be held in Lithuania in 2021 – the World Cup was postponed due the hard hit of COVID-19 in the European continent.
The team led by Elliot Ragomo won last year New Zealand in the grand final of the OFC Futsal Nations Cup held in New Caledonia to confirm their dominance in the region and their slot in the next FIFA World Cup. Some young new faces are included in the team that is training in Solomon Islands’ capital Honiara, as the Kooline’s 18-year-old Benjamin Mana. Mana was awarded the ‘Golden Boot’ of the first ever OFC Futsal Champions League last year in New Zealand helping his side Kooline to the regional glory.
Former Auckland City and Maritzburg United man Micah Lea’alafa is back to action after a long period as he is part of the training camp. Recently, Lea’alafa stated his taking a break of his career, but certainly he will not be losing the opportunity to take part of his fourth appearance in a row at the most important futsal event.
According to local federation (SIFF), twenty players were called up to attend the training sessions led by assistant coach Francis Lafai, trainer Nelson Kabitana and SIFF Futsal Development Officer, Dickson Kadau. You can check the 20-men list by clicking here.
This is the first training spell the Kurukuru are having since the succesful campaign at OFC Futsal Nations Cup. A training camp was schedule at the start of the year, but it was forced to be cancelled due the restrictions on COVID-19 pandemics. This is also the first time since Micah Lea’alafa departed from South African professional outfit Maritzburg United that he is back to action. The player is also taking up a team analyst role for Southern United FC’s side at Telekom S-League, the top-football league of Solomon Islands.
Lea’alafa in interview to Oceania Football Center explained his decision to take a break in his career as he is focused on his own football and futsal development programs accross Solomon Islands. A commendable attitude by an international player of the caliber of the former Auckland City man.