The Tifa Moana have settled into the Suva Fiji, in preparation for the upcoming week-long Oceania World Cup Qualifiers which will be held at the Vodafone Arena from the 19th – 23rd of July.
The World Cup Qualifiers will see teams from Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands battling it out for the top two spots, which will secure a position in the Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa next year.
The last Oceania World Cup Qualifiers was held in 2018, where Samoa had taken out the whole competition finishing top of the leader board to solidify their spot at the 2019 Netball World Cup in England.
Due to the Covid pandemic and its travel restrictions, Netball Samoa came across difficulties in getting their local players to participate in international fixtures. With the smoke clearing up around travel restrictions, Netball Samoa are proud to announce three young talented local players in this squad: Larafina Stowers, Geraldine Taefu and Samantha Tuilaepa.
At the PacificAus Netball series held in March this year, nine debutants were introduced to Team Samoa.
In this tournament six players will be making their debut: Saviour Tui, Ainsleyana Puleiata, Fiapalagi Laikong, Hannah Ridling, Shenade Southon and Rebekah Roache.
In an interview with SGN, Team Manager Eka Edith Arp said the girls are pumped and set for the weeks games.
“We have adapted and embraced the theme of ‘Alo Faatasi le Tatou Vaa’ which is something the girls came up with to encourage hardwork and unity as Tifa Moana..”
“The girls have been able to bond and learn from each other on and off the court…being in a team environment has made it possible for them to build and develop better relationships leading up to this tournament which we believe will play a key part for a successful campaign,” added Ms Arp.
The newly named Tifa Moana squad will be coached by Frances Solia who is no stranger to representing Samoa at the international level, as a player and now head coach.
Tifa Moana’s first game will be against Tonga Tala on Tuesday 19th July at 8:30pm, followed by a match with Cook Islands on the 21st of July, at 6:30pm.
The girls are then scheduled to play Fiji Pearls at 8:30pm on Friday 22nd July and finish the round robin with the PNG Pepes the following day, 23rd July at 3:00pm (All times mentioned are Samoa Local Time).
Netball Samoa thanks everyone for all the support saying, “the team can’t wait to get out next week and represent their proud nation of Samoa”.
Tifa Moana Oceania World Cup Qualifiers Squad:
Frances Solia – Head Coach
Elizabeth Manu – Assistant Coach
Edith (Eka) Arp – Team Manager
St David Forbes – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Holly Boyd – Physiotherapist
Etenauga Tanielu Toimoana – Bench Official