The Solomon Islands insist they will not be taking their opponents lightly when the Oceania Beach Soccer Championship gets underway in Tahiti today.

The three-time defending champs take on Fiji in the opening match in Papeete.
Hosts Tahiti are the only other team taking part after Vanuatu were forced to withdraw after being unable to get a flight out of Port Vila in time.

The Bilikiki coach, Henry Koto, says the team has retained its core of experienced players from previous events and has supplemented them with a few up and coming youngsters.

He says the players are confident of their chances but know their opponents will be keen to knock them off their perch.

"We always respect all teams and the boys will give a good run. I know that some teams might really try to, you know, try to beat us but I told my boys that we are here to win this competition so their experience and our preparation back at home and coming here is to win this qualifier."

The winning team will represent Oceania at the Beach Soccer World Cup in Italy in September.