FSM National Soccer Team to participate in Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea
- Category: Sports
- Published: Thursday, 25 June 2015 08:56
- Written by Kpress
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What FSM national team has 18 members, has members from Chuuk, Yap and Pohnpei, has never trained together, but has been training for over 6 months to prepare for an international tournament? It's the FSM National Football (Soccer) team!!
There's a lot of excitement this week as the Federated States of Micronesia prepares to send its National Football (Soccer) team to the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea in July. Final preparations before the Games will be made during the squad training camp in Guam over the next 2 weeks.
National Coach Stan Foster says the training camp is of enormous importance in the team's final preparations and that the generosity of the Guam Football Association has been incredible. "To date we have not been able to train together as a team because of the lack of resources and the distances between the island states. The 2 weeks in Guam means we have the opportunity to not only use great playing facilities but we also have the chance for lead up games against some of Guam's Premier League club teams.
The team is a young one with most players aged well under 23 years of age and it's the first time this team has played in an international tournament against FIFA ranked teams. It's a fantastic development opportunity and for preparation of these young men for future representation of their country."
It's been a novel approach by the FSM Football Association to ensure a truly representative FSM team. They have supported their National Coach in his decision to select young players from across the states even though the logistics of coaching were seemingly insurmountable due to distance and no money or sponsorship. President of the FSMFA Jeff Wuthel says he's been pleased to see that where there's a will there is certainly a way and the trial of 'coaching- from- afar' over the past 6 months has been a success. "It's a model that can be used by any sport so that when FSM sends national teams to competitions they have people from across all island states and can then be truly called a National Representative Team", Mr Wuthel said.
The commitment of these young players over many months and the level of skill they have attained has impressed the Coach - particularly since some of them are relatively new to the game and have never played at representative level before. When asked what he hoped for the team at the Pacific Games he responded, "Of course wins and medals are always the ultimate goal but showcasing the talent of these young FSM players on an international stage and seeing them provide good competition to the opposing team is a reward in itself. I hope this experience will be something they will remember with pride for the rest of their lives."
If success is measured by commitment of coaches and players and overcoming challenges such as distance and lack of resources and equipment then this team is already a winner and we wish them all the best in their first game on 3 July when they face Fiji in what will surely be a tough game.
The FSM National Football Team Members are:
Curtis Clarke Assistant Coach
Stan Foster FSM National Coach
The FSMFA would like to thank the FSM National Olympic Committee for funding for flights, Yap Sport Council for purchase of uniforms, Yafeth Konigs for training the Pohnpei players, and Curtis Graham for training the Chuuk players.