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IDC draws hype

Opinions / Analysis

FIJI'S premier football competition, the Inter District Championship is building hype.


The sporting extravaganza is expected to attract huge fanfare, the only drawback is that the 19,000-seat oval at the ANZ Stadium will be reduced to half its capacity due to Covid -19 restrictions.

It is important, though, even in these uncertain and difficult times, to reflect on an event that brings joy, pride and smiles to the faces of the passionate and patriotic fanfare in the country and world over.

The footballing likes are already in the party mood working up their district fans, rubbing foes and drawing neutrals for support.

Eight premier districts will be all out with one goal, that is to win the coveted Lloyd Farebrother Trophy.

For teams are breaking every bit of the sweat during the practice runs, working on combinations, set plays, and tactics ahead of October 6th, kickoff and ending with the crowing of the champion on Sunday, October 11th.

Labasa

Defending champions Labasa has its work cut out for them as they are in Group B with proverbial football giants, Ba, Nadi and Navua.

The Lions are sitting 6th on the Vodafone National League table and has been struggling to find a niche.

The team needs to bring out its A-plus game, or else get dethroned.

What coach Ronil Lal has up his sleeve will only be known at the start of their campaign.

Labasa’s last win in Suva was against Ba 2-1 in 2016.

Ba

Ba’s high, two dozen IDC, title wins are by no means the team will rest on its laurels.

The young brave-heats, who mesmerized football fans during the B.O.G, will have to kick up a few notches in their performance during the IDC.

The debutants have gained confidence and are able to carry the team to the next level.

Coach Ronil Kumar has won several titles as a player and knows what it takes to motivate them.

Ba’s last win in Suva was against Nadi 2-1 in 2007.

Nadi

Nadi have the players who can pull surprises as they have a good team.

But as history has it, their worst enemy is not the opponents, but bad decision and the lack of focus that have come to bite them on many occasions.

Here is a team that would lead for most part of the game but on a turn of dime, give it all away, or play catch-up and even lose the match.

Nadi has always been as good as their coach Kamal Swamy.

Nadi’s last win in Suva was against Lautoka 2-1 in 1998.

Navua

Navua just needs to come-out and give its all, whatever that may hold, play for one another and hope for best.

They have not won an IDC, in Suva.

Rewa

Rewa is in good stead to replicate its 2020 Battle of the Giants form, for they have been playing good football and with marquees, they are top contenders for the championship.

Laced with seasoned caps, and youngsters, their Group B, competition with Suva, who they beat 1-0 in the B.O.G, final will be some contest.

Coach Marika Rodu would want the IDC trophy in their closet to go with their first ever national league title, the chase is on.

Rewa needs to take Suva seriously as the ‘Whites’ will be all out to settle an old score before the home fans.

Rewa’s last win in Suva was against Lautoka 3-1 in 2010.

Lautoka

Lautoka and Nasinu, are the other two teams that make up the group, that needs to find their footing if they are to pose any real treat during the group plays.

Lautoka coach Ravinesh Kumar has not had much success since taking up the job, it is all about the lost plot.

If anything, his A level coaching certificate must come into play from the very get-go, it is now or never for him.

Lautoka’s last win in Suva was against Suva 2-1 in 2018.

Nasinu

Nasinu, for they need to come-up with a better game plane if they are to give nemesis, Rewa and Suva a good game.

Coach Tagi Vonolagi knows the B.O.G ride is a thing of the past, without him behind the benches, the team pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament against Suva, 3-1, and held Labasa to a 1-1 draw.

President and stand-in coach O’Neil Chand did a fine job after Tagi was ejected for running a triad at the match referee. It is unlikely the team will carry the ‘Giant’ killer tag this time around.

Nasinu’s last win was against Suva 1-0, in Suva in 1990.

Suva

Suva under coach Babs Khan, the former Nadi coach has brought in good vibes since taking up the position.

The players are responding well to his tactical and technical know-how of the game.

Khan is the only coach in the country who would not shy away from owning up mistakes, a rare quality among other coaches.

The team needs to play by the ear, their second place VPL,standing is proof of how improved side they have become.

Suva will bank on its home fans to help lift their performance by the game.

Suva’s last home win was against Nadi 1-0 in 2014.

For it is the tenacity and focus that will have one team reach the podium to raise aloft the championship hardware come Sunday.


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