The Solomon Kurukuru has begun their intensive ten-day training camp in Sydney in preparation for the Futsal World Cup in Brazil later this month.After traveling from Honiara to Sydney last Tuesday, the boys are now living and training at the Dural Sports and Recreation Centre.
The team is no stranger to the centre, having been there in January and April this year to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers in Fiji.
"We are happy to be able to use the facilities at Dural and although the boys are not used cold weather, it is better here because it has a proper court - exactly the same as the courts that we will play on in Brazil - so it's good to be back,' says Coach Victor Wai'ia.
The team is also doing their gym and pool sessions at the Blacktown Sport and Leisure Centre. The boys especially enjoyed the modern treadmills in the gym and pool that creates waves like the ocean.
This is so they can better compete with teams at the World Cup whose average age will be at least seven to eight years older than the young Solomon Islanders. Increasing their strength and size has been a priority for Kurukuru.
"The weather is cold, but we are training hard and focusing on Brazil. We are doing our best to make Solomon Islands proud," said target utility player Lenson Bisili.
Kurukuru had their first test on Saturday which they lost narrowly (3-4) to a strong New South Wales state team. The last time the two teams played was in the semi finals of the Australian National Futsal Championships, with New South Wales clinching the winner in the dying seconds of the game.
"We're going to do a lot of work on defense while we're here,' said Coach Wai'ai.
'Saturday will be a good test to see where we are at; we'll be taking the game seriously," he said prior to their match last Saturday. Meanwhile, the team will leave Thursday for Brazil via Dubai.
From Dubai they will travel to Sao Paulo then to Brasilia to acclimatize and play a series of practice matches against local club sides before the competition proper starts.