National side spy on opponents

Thursday August 27, 2015 Written by Rashneel Kumar/ Radio New Zealand Published in Soccer

The Cook Islands football side has been analysing the footage of their opposition ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Tonga.


Coach Drew Sherman said they have done their homework for the opening round of qualifiers which will be held from August 31 to September 4 in Nuku’alofa.

Cook Islands will face Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa in the OFC stage one qualifiers, with the winner joining the regional giants for the second round.

The national team, which is in New Zealand to play warm-up matches, will be in Tonga by tomorrow for their opening match against the host on Monday.

Tonga and American Samoa had their squad training in Seattle, USA and opted to play Fiji in their warm-up matches earlier in the month.

In an interview with Radio New Zealand Sherman said they had done what they could to scout information on their rivals.

“Most of our homework has been done in terms of video analysis and looking at the games, like the Tonga game against Fiji last week, and keeping an eye on how American Samoa do so we’re prepared and we can organise our team to play in a way that will hopefully mean we’re prepared to win,” Sherman said.

“Getting footage is difficult, but we’ve had some match reports on how the team did and the line-up and the style of play in which Tonga play, and then a couple of highlights packages which have been sent over. So yeah, we’ve got a little bit of footage, but it’s difficult because there’s not a massive amount of coverage on the island nations.”

The Cook Islands side is made up of six Rarotonga-based players while the rest of the players are from New Zealand and Australia. 

Cook Islands: Rarotonga - Campbell Best (Tupapa Maraerenga), Mii Joseph (Tupapa Maraerenga), Nathan Tisam (Avatiu), Paavo Mustonen (Tupapa Maraerenga), Tahiri Elikana (Avatiu), Sunai Joseph (Tupapa Maraerenga), Australia – Grover Harmon (Yagoona Lions), Taylor Saghabi (West Ryde Rovers) and Jake Stuart (West Ryde Rovers), New Zealand - Emiel Burrow (Oratia United), Alex McGregor (Eastern Suburbs), Harlem Simiona (Ngongotaha), Josh Karika (Manukau City), Junior Lupena (Manukau City), Gichin Fuhiniu (Manukau City), Ishak Mohammed (Manukau City), Legend Pareta (Metro), Tyrell Baringer-Tahiri (Southern United), Arus Sem (Western Springs).

Head Coach – Drew Sherman, Support Staff – Tuka Tisam, Tom Fawdry, Richard Anderson, Manager- John Taripo, Assistant Manager John-Paul Wilson and Physio- Simon Bish.   

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