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National football side named

Tuesday 15 November 2011 | Published in Regional


Former All Whites midfielder and Cook Islands National Football coach Shane Rufer has named the national football squad for the preliminary stage of the Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup a tournament which takes place in Samoa from November 22 to 26 and doubles as the first stage of qualifying series for the FIFA World Cup. The Cook Islands will meet hosts and favourites Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga at the event.

The 12 Rarotonga based players include members currently playing in the local football league while the other nine members are players based in New Zealand and Australia. According to Rufer the preparations are running smoothly and the full squad is looking forward to competing at this major football tournament and representing their country.

We have a team of 12 players based here in Rarotonga, Rufer says.

We will meet with the nine overseas-based players soon and it will be up to them to push for a place in the starting line-up. Our goal for the tournament is to be the best that we can be and while in Auckland to integrate the nine players into the team and with the purpose to qualify for the next round of the FIFA 2014 World Cup tournament.

The national team has departed for New Zealand early this morning where they are scheduled to play a couple of friendly matches against a couple of local football clubs in Auckland.

The Cook Islands National Football squad players are Campbell Best, Branden Turepu, Emiel Burrows, Gichin Fuhiniu, Grover Harmon, John Michael Quijano, Joseph Ngauora, Junior Lupena, Mii Joseph, Nathan Tisam, Nikorima Te Miha, Paavo Mustonen, Paul Luiz Van Eijk, Roger Manuel, Tahiri Elikana, Taylor Saghabi, Terii Framhein, Tony Jamieson, Tuka Tisam and Twin Tiro.

The team officials are Shane Rufer as head coach, Paul Turepu as manager and Paul Aitu as team physio.

The Cook Islands Football Association and executive board members would like to wish the national squad all the best in Samoa.