To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Part-To'abaita brothers to lead SI Bilikiki boys to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Brazil next month

Two part-To'abaita brothers will spearhead the Solomon Islands Bilikiki team to the upcoming FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Brazil early next month as head coach and captain.

They are coach, Eddie Omokirio, and his younger brother and captain, Gideon Omokirio. The pair who are part AreAre and Fiuki Village near Loina in North Malaita fashioned useful domestic and international football careers. Gideon played in the New Zealand National League for Nelson United and Nelson Suburbs and helped himself to 34 caps for the Solomon Islands national team. He was also part of the Solomon Islands team that clinched a sensational 2-2 draw against the might of Australia during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, a campaign that saw his country pip New Zealand for the playoff spot at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup and with it, a chance to qualify for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Eddie Omokirio will coach the side alongside another former Solomon Islands international Vivian Wickham and he believes that his country has a bright future in both Futsal and Beach Soccer. Eddie's religious convictions add further steel to growing impressions that the Bilikiki might be able to cause an upset when they reach Brazil.

Reports from the Oceania Football Federation website stated that anticipation and excitement is high in the Solomon Islands with just 3 weeks to go before their 2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup campaign gets underway in Rio de Janeiro. Affectionately known as the Bilikiki, the team carries not only the hopes of Solomon Islands to the tournament, but that of the Oceania Football Confederation and its member associations.

But standing in front of the Bilikiki will be an array of Beach Soccer talent formidable in its composition and experience. For the Bilikiki, modesty characterises the ability of its squad by comparison. There are no superstars, no former European Cup winners, but a collection of individuals with a handful of experience in the local National League competitions that make up the Oceania Football Confederation.

The set-back of a cancelled journey to the Reunion Islands could yet come back to haunt the erstwhile Solomon Islanders. If the prospect of matching their skills against the best was enough to whet the appetite, the flight itinerary and projected budget blow-out caused a collective bout of indigestion. It is sincerely hoped that this does not affect performances in Brazil too adversely.

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