The Southern Tornadoes team is ready for battle.
Two different villages, Falealili and Siumu, have joined forces formulating the Southern Tornadoes team.
The team will play their opening match of the Super Nine rugby tournament against the Savaii Warriors this weekend.
Coach, Taveuveu Simanu Simanu said: “We have no motto at the moment, but I always tell them to believe in themselves because there are times when they would think that they are second best to other clubs because they did not get chosen for their teams, but they need to believe in themselves and know that they can do what those other players do.”
There’s also a meaning behind the name of the team.
“For the past four cyclones, it always starts from Lalomanu and Siumu. Our Member of Parliament came up with that name Southern Tornado. It was his idea and we went with it.”
“We want to play like tornadoes. We want to be clinical and destroy everything on the field, but we are working on it at the moment.”
“We are working on building our confidence and things like that in order to get that kind of form.”
Getting the players together was a challenge, with only 16 showing up for the first training session.
“There was no Union on that side, Falealili and Siumu. We were trying really hard to put the team together. We went asking kids who would be interested.”
“These are the kids that we found and most of them are from Apia Union and some from Falealili and Siumu too.”
“We kept working on getting new kids and things like that. We even went to the kids families and asked them where they are. We had to chase them around and ask them who they wanted to play for and they agreed to play for us.”
He explained: “The thing is these kids have been playing together ever since they were in school because some kids in Falealili went to Palalaua College.”
“I think that is when they started to do things together and played together. So when they moved up to this level, they already know each other. It is not going to be a big deal because they already know each other.”
“There is supposed to be 40 in the squad, but we have to pick 30 from that 40 for every Saturday. But at the moment, we have not yet decided the 30 yet.”
Taveuveu also highlighted some of the challenges they face.
“The only problem is some of the kids are playing in the other clubs in Apia and that is a challenge now, especially when we try and put them together.”
“The bond that we try to build here is to let them know each other, on and off the field.”
The Southern Tornadoes have a goal and that is to build bonds and develop the players’ skills.
“This is what we are trying to do this year. We are not trying to put anyone more than 30 years old because there is a Samoa A, which is only 23 of age and below. We only got on board three or four older players to lead the kids and for them to follow.”
“We are trying to develop these Under-20 kids to get somewhere. Even if we are not going to get the results that we want, at least someone would get into the national team.”
Taveuveu also mentioned that having Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali encourgae the team was a good experience for the boys.
“It is a good experience for the players because we have seen him on television and that is everyone’s dream. His father is also from Siumu.”