BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
SOLOMON Cup winning coach, Terry Oiaka is set to lead Malaita Eagles at this year’s 2022 Solomon Cup that’s scheduled to kick-off from 26 November to 10 December in Honiara.
Oiaka, who once led Malaita Eagles to lift the Solomon Cup trophy in 2017 told RAW SPORTS that a total 29-man squad had been selected and is now in camp at Fasitoro, and has been undergoing their training sessions at Gwaunaru’u in Auki Malaita Province.
He said the Malaita Eagles had comprised a mixture of new, and former players like Jimmy Raramane, Junior Buna, Philip Origa, Michael Urui, and James Lufi.
According to Oiaka, scouting for players has been a challenge for him as a coach since players are normally selected from the annual Malaita Cup tournament, which was postponed this year.
“The Malaita Football Association (MFA) normally identifies or selects players to represent the provincial team (Malaita Eagles) from the respective league competitions established within the 14 football associations (representing the 14 Constituencies within the province of Malaita).
“This year, only 10 football associations or Constituencies responded positively to the MFA’s call by sending in their players. The other 4 Constituencies have failed to do so,” the two times (2017-2020) Head Coach of Malaita Eagles said.
He said that recently the first trial to select the final team to represent the province had comprised 75 players, which was later trimmed down to 41 players.
“After the second trial, we trimmed the squad to 32 players and now trimmed to a final 29-man squad as of last Week. This includes 25 players and four other non-travelers. Those are the final traveling players,” Oiaka said.
Here are the current 29 players who were called up for the Malaita Eagles final squad ahead of the Solomon Cup 2022.
Goalkeepers: Michael Urui, David Sanga, Barna Lulu, and Clyde Hoasimarutana.
Defenders: Junior Buna, Philip Origa, Titus Warahikeni, Michael Hori, Stanlyn Maeraha, Nelson Sare, Stephen Fonisi, Douglas Iroima, Paul Amasia, Javin Sam, Jeffrey Aeta.
Midfielders: Jimmy Raramane, Jerry Irisinamo, Jamie Tuita, Fred Fafale, Wayne Solodia, John Atasi, and Jalex Lulu.
Flankers: Junior Ratu, James Lufi, John Suiomea, and Gabriel William Kaitu.
Strikers: Watson Ray, William Ouka, and David Lulu.
Coaching Staff: Head Coach – Terry Oiaka, Assistant Coach – Dickson Bua.