Lupe look forward after historic Champions League campaign
Lupe o le Soaga Soccer Club are looking to the future after their historic result at the 2020 Oceania Champions League group stage in Tahiti last week.
The Samoan club became the first team from the country to ever win a game in the competition win they beat Fiji’s Ba FC 4-3, and followed that up with a strong performance against New Zealand heavyweights Auckland City FC in a 2-0 loss.
Lupe will sustain their training over the offseason, and head coach Fa’aeanu’u Paul Ualesi challenged his team to make the sacrifices needed to reach the next level of performance.
“The potential is there for our boys, the talent is there but they need full commitment to maintain that kind of level, the fitness level and even the skills as well,” he said.
“You have to work hard and commit for what you are expecting and what you want to achieve.”
Fa’aeanu’u said the little things like being on time for trainings are crucial, and getting that right is down to players’ mindset and time management.
“We need to push them, if they wanna get better and maintain that level,” he said.
Many of the Lupe squad figure to be part of the Samoan men’s national team that will attempt to qualify for the 2020 Oceania Football Confederation (O.F.C.) Nations Cup scheduled to be played in June.
Fa’aeanu’u thinks the Champions League campaign can be a good launching pad for the national team.
“It’s good to create that confidence that they can do the job,” he said.
Samoa were to compete at the qualifying tournament at the end of March, but the O.F.C. have postponed all their competitions until May at the earliest because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were looking forward to that, but I think the priority is still safety,” Fa’aeanu’u said.
“For me it’s good that they postponed that, and they’ve now got a lot of time to prepare as well.”
The club now to their focus to the upcoming Football Federation Samoa youth tournaments, with Under-10, 12 and 15 teams beginning their seasons on the 21st of March.
“We need to focus on our youth as well, and our development,” Fa’aeanu’u said.
He welcomed any children wanting to play soccer for Lupe to come down to their trainings at 4 pm on Monday at Malifa Field.