Since it is learned that Cook Islands qualified directly for group A of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers because of problems with Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, almost everything about the national team was a mystery. Before that Oceania Football Center had found out that Ben Mata, Wellington Olympic defender, would play for the Cook Islands in the tournament.
Now things have become a little clearer after Alan Taylor gave an interview to the OFC website.
The Englishman coached the Cook Islands U-20 team in the last edition of the OFC U-19 championship in 2018, finishing the competition one win and two losses failing to qualify for the final round in Tahiti. This will be Taylor’s second stint with the senior national team, as he was in charge of the Cook Islands team from 1999 until 2001 when they played in the Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers.