Confiscate phones at night, P.M. tells Baby Manu Samoa

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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"Please Schwalger, make sure to collect all their (players) phones before bed every night" - P.M. Tuilaepa

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi sent off the Manu Samoa Under 20s with the nation’s blessings yesterday.

But he also had some interesting tips for the management.

“Some are relatively basic but are important reminders,” he said.

“Please Schwalger, make sure to collect all their (players) phones before bed every night.

“I think that is one of the many reasons they could stay up late in night.

“They spend so much time texing and texting during the whole night. They don’t sleep and when it’s time to go for training they are tired and could end up doing something stupid.

“Remember, if you (players) do that you’re wasting everyone’s commitment and effort in putting together the team.

The team is heading to Georgia to vie for the Junior World Cup.

The squad of 28 players is led by former Manu Samoa captain, Mase Mahonri Schwalger.

Yesterday, the nation bid farewell to the squad during a gathering at the S.R.U. Headquarters at Tuana’imato.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Coach Mase promised to do their best for Samoa.

“The boys have been training the last five last weeks,” Mase said.

“These guys have been training really hard and our preparation is on the right track, and hopefully for our first game...these guys will put on the good performance for Samoa.”

There are challenges.

“When I first got the role, I made sure that I know about these kids, not only that but to find the right formula for these kids.

 “I have to make sure to bring them together as a team and get the best out of them and I want to make sure they believe in themselves.”

Being a coach is not an easy role, Mase admits.

“Of course being the coach you have to make sure to bring the best out of these guys. So, I have to be coach, the father, the taxi driver and everything to them.”

Mase said the team’s mindset is positive at this stage.

“The last few days we’ve been trying to build the team spirit and make sure we have the support from the community.

“In terms of preparations and rugby stuff, the boys have been working really hard. For a lot of these guys it’s the first time ever being in the national team and they’re looking forward to it.

 “They’ve adapted really well.  My job is to make sure they’re prepared mentally for the game. Not so much physically, because they’ve done the hard yards in the last couple of months, it’s about the mental side of things. 

“Making sure these guys know how to handle pressure especially in the World Cup. 

"They’ve got to make sure they know their roles and know their patterns and the way they should play.  

"At the moment they’re going really well.”

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