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11 November 2022

Cooks U15 lose opener

Tuesday 11 April 2023 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Football, Sports

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Cooks U15 lose opener
Members of the Cook Islands team taking part in the OFC Under 15 Boys Development Tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. CIFA/23041006

Cook Islands lost its opening match to Fiji in the OFC Under 15 Boys Development Tournament which got underway in Auckland, New Zealand, yesterday.

The national side went down to Fiji 1-9.

In a Facebook post, Cook Islands Football Association said the results versus Fiji “didn’t go our way however, it is a learning experience for our boys whom majority have never played internationally”.

Six teams from around the Pacific and one from Europe have assembled in Auckland for the OFC U15 development tournament.

The tournament is being played at the OFC “Home of Football” Te Kahu O Kiwa’ until the 17th of April.

The tournament, which has been funded through UEFA Assist, features academy teams from Vanuatu, Tahiti, Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands, and the Solomon Islands. A development team from Liechtenstein has also entered. World Cup winner and UEFA Ambassador Christian Karembeu, who was born in New Caledonia, will be in attendance.

According to Oceania Football Confederation, the tournament will provide young players with experience of an international tournament format including travel, competitive matches, and associated training. It will showcase the OFC National Academies and Centre of Excellence programmes.

OFC’s chief of football development Patrick Jacquemet says it’s a wonderful opportunity for the players, coaches and officials involved.

“The key here is development. Thanks to UEFA Assist these young players will be exposed to a high degree of professionalism on and off the field. For many involved in the tournament it will be the first time they have played outside their country, and it will help them in their personal development. It’s also a development tournament for the match officials.” Jacquemet said.

Players will be attending psychology and nutrition workshops as well as a Q&A session with Karembeu as part of their development.

There are more games on Friday and next Monday.

  • Additional reporting from OFC Media