Football keen to lease land at Apia Park

The Football Federation Samoa (F.F.S.) is negotiating with the Government to lease a portion of land at the Apia Park.  

The negotiations were confirmed by the F.F.S. President, Papali'i Leslie Petaia, during a press conference with the local media.

He said the Federation has a plan to set up a facility at Apia Park, which is why they have approached the Government.

“Talking about the future, we have plans to get a facility up and running around Apia Park,” he said.

“We are not just looking at building facilities to assist with the development of the sport of football. When we move the game out to the rural areas, we will need the fields out there and we need facilities to go along with development.”

There is also discussions at the executive committee level on facilities in Savai’i, he added while emphasising that the big island remains untouched in terms of football talent.

“If we give the kids of Samoa opportunities to play football, we’ll have a bigger pool of players for us to select national teams and also players of Samoan descent overseas.”

But the key to tap into that pool of talent is to have the systems in place, which Papalii said is the direction the Federation wants to take.

“If we have our systems in place, if our players overseas see there is something really good going on with the Football Federation of Samoa, no doubt they’ll come and represent Samoa in terms of the national teams.”

However, he warned that the changes cannot happen overnight, though the goal can be reached if the structures are put in place.

“It won’t happen overnight, but we want to put in proper systems, proper structures, so we can achieve that goal.”

The younger generation of Samoan football players can be given the opportunity to excel if the Federation have proper systems to develop them as players, according to Papalii. 

“Reintroduce academies for elite in certain age-grades so that when they go overseas to train in clubs, get opportunities to try out, at least they’ve seen that sort of environment before. There should be no excuse for the kids of Samoa to say there wasn’t a pathway for them.”

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