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FFAS president, executive listen to proposal from Dutch foundation

Football Federation American Samoa received a proposal for a 28-day training camp involving the men’s national team approximately 9,000 miles away from the territory — the country, the Netherlands.

Paul Driessen, president of the Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation, along with his VP Koen van Santvoordt, made a PowerPoint presentation to FFAS President, Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet, and members of the executive committee — Vice-President Sandra Fruean, Treasurer Amio Mavaega-Luvu and Silasila Samuelu last week Friday at the Tradewinds Hotel.

The duo hopes to mirror a program they ran in Tuvalu with any of the Oceania Football Confederation’s 11 members. They are in the region visiting several islands to present their training camp plan.

The Tuvalu men’s national team has earned many great results through this partnership. In their lead-up to the 2011 Pacific Games New Caledonia, they defeated Samoa 3-0. At the Games in New Caledonia, they beat American Samoa 4-0, and drew with Guam 1-1. They also managed to score against the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, two top tier teams in OFC.

Last year at the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu, they beat New Caledonia 2-1, and Tonga 4-3, this time using a local coach that was trained under the Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation.

As a foundation, they were able to secure a well renowned coach, Foppe de Haan, and also were able to send Dutch coaches to Tuvalu. De Haan coached the team in 2011 in New Caledonia.

“Our goal is to promote Oceania football development in The Netherlands and encourage, recruit and guide professional Dutch football coaches to work in OFC countries. Our track record is related to Tuvalu,” Driessen said in an e-mail. “We sent seven coaches to Tuvalu with each staying up to half a year between 2011 and 2016. Our coaches educated local coaches and trained national football teams during this period. The 2011 match between Tuvalu and American Samoa in New Caledonia might be well known. We appointed three Dutch coaches for Tuvalu’s 2011 Pacific Games squad.”

If FFAS were to give the ok for the program to go forward, the NOSF’s plans is to send the American Samoa men’s national team to the Netherlands for a 28-day training camp. Dutch coaches will assist with the training, with coaching clinics for the national team players and coaches.

The national team’s association would pay for all expenses involved in this venture. The foundation would also set up friendly games with amateur clubs of like strength, and these games would benefit the national team in many areas, including experience. Driessen said during the presentation that with their help, they would bring in Dutch sponsorship to bring down costs in conducting training camps, and other related costs.

“This is a very good program, and one that I see will benefit any team that takes up the offer,” Faiivae said.

He said the committee will review the NOSF’s presentation, and make a final decision.

Faiivae received a soccer ball, Tuvalu Men’s National Team photo and Dutch windmill souvenir from Driessen and van Santvoordt. In return, the duo were given an FFAS polo shirt with logo each.

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