Caption: Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel. File Photo.
By FIJI FA MEDIA
The road to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup moves up a notch for the Fiji Under- 19 side when they kick off their New Zealand tour this Friday.
The OFC U-19 playoffs are scheduled to be played at ANZ Stadium in Suva later next month.
The winner of the playoffs will earn a ticket to the U20 World Cup in NZ.
And with Oceania giants NZ earning an automatic entry in the World Cup as hosts, teams like Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia will be gunning to grab the second spot.
The Fiji U-19 squad which has the services of numerous district reps with the likes of Iosefo Verevou (Rewa), Jale Dreloa (Suva), Kolonio Sivoki (Suva) and Narendra Rao (Ba) arrived in NZ on Tuesday.
This tour is supported by the NZ Fiji Football INC.
The side will return on May 9 and will have just few weeks to wrap up their preparations before entering the playoffs.
Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel says this tour is vital for their preparations.
“I believe this tour is a timely one for the squad,” he said.
“We are just a few weeks away from the playoffs and the months of preparations will be tested during this tour. The team management will have first-hand experience to gauge their preparation before heading to the playoffs,” Patel added.
The Fiji U-19 side will also play the New Zealand U20 side twice during the tour.
Below is the schedule for the Fiji U-19 team NZ Tour
April 22nd Arrive NZ
April 23rd Training
April 25th v NZ Fiji Select Bill McKinlay Park 7pm
April 27th v Waitakere City FC Fred Taylor Park 2pm
April 29th v Metro AFC Phyliss Street 7pm
May 1st v Western Springs Seddon Fields 7pm
May 4th v NZ U20 Bill McKinlay Park 5pm
May 6th v NZ U20 North Harbour Stadium 6.30pm
May 8th v TBC