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American Samoa to host OFC U-17 Championship

“After we hosted the OFC Champions League Preliminary Tournament last year in October, I felt we were ready to start hosting more OFC competitions,” explained FFAS President, Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet, a member of the OFC executive committee.
“So at our first OFC executive committee meeting this year in April, I lobbied for American Samoa to host the U17 next year in January, and my application was given an affirmative vote by my colleagues,” Faiivae recalled.
The competition has been scheduled for January 13-27, 2015 and the territory could see all 11 OFC Member Associations, counting American Samoa, take part in the tournament.
“Our committee, staff and association are looking forward to hosting the tournament and we will be making a lot of our plans in as far as the use of the field is concerned with regards to the upcoming tournament in January,” Faiivae said.
Training for the American Samoa U17 team started this past Monday with FFAS Technical Director Rupeni Luvu taking charge.
“We have issued a call out to all eligible players in American Samoa to come and try out for our team and our training sessions are every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2-3:30 p.m., until further notice,” Luvu said.
American Samoan players who are U.S. citizens/nationals born in between 1998-2000 are eligible to represent the territory and FFAS will also be directing its eye to off island players that can be available to join the team.
“It is certainly an option for us to look at in order to bolster our team,” explained FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua. “There are many qualified youth players living in the U.S. with a connection to American Samoa going as far back as their grandparents that can represent us.”
In the squad that participated at the recent OFC U20 tournament in Suva, Fiji and won by Fiji, three of those 19 players are eligible for the U17 tournament.
“All three of these players were able to get some playing time in Fiji and armed with that experience, they know they kind of effort needed in order to compete well against countries such as New Zealand, Vanuatu and Fiji just to name a few,” Luvu said.
The other countries besides the territory and the three mentioned above, are New Caledonia, Tahiti, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Tonga and Samoa.

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