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Former Blues' coach Thoman laid to rest

Fiji Sports

Former Blues' coach, Mike Thoman (L) with former reps.Former Blues' coach, Mike Thoman (L) with former reps.FORMER Lautoka and national football head coach Mike Thoman was laid to rest in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday.

Mike died on Christmas Day.

He was 79 years old.

Mike coached Lautoka district side that won the 1984 National League and both the 1985 Inter District Championship and the Battle of the Giants tournament.

Lautoka beat Rewa in the major grand finale, 2-1 in the IDC and 3-0 in the BOG.

Former players, coaches, fans and friends from Fiji, USA, Canada and Australia were at his funeral.

Epeli Ragavatu Kosa, a key player on Mike’s treble grand slam winning team in 84-85, rated him as the best coach.

“Mike was a great coach”, said the Auckland, New Zealand resident, Ragavatu.

Ragavatu said he had played under many coaches in Fiji but found Mike to be the best.

“He was all about tiki-taka football, he was also a tactical and technical coach. Mike was above and beyond”.

Kelemedi Vosuqa Cheetah, who was also in the company of Mike’s elite squad was at the funeral.

The Brisbane, Australia resident said he was devastated at the news of the passing away of his mentor.

“Huge loss, great coach, who was strict and knowledgeable", he said.

“He was a legend, he will live forever with the footballing people of Lautoka and Fiji, he inspired, and took Lautoka football to greater heights”.

Mike was the honorary speaker during Lautoka ex-players reunion in 2017.

He coached Fiji national team in 1984-1985 for home and away friendlies against New Zealand and Pacific Island teams.

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