Capital City boys out to defend FACT title

Suva players in a team huddle after their training session at the USP grounds in Laucala Bay yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Suva football head coach Maxwell Thaggard and his side will be out to maintain their status as defending champions of the Digicel Fiji FA Cup Tournament (FACT) when it kicks off this weekend.

Thaggard said their goal was to defend their title for a third time and was adamant his side had what it takes to get the job done.

Suva FC recently returned from competing in the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League, where they reached the final but fell short 4-2 to a strong Auckland City side in Vanuatu.

“We are very excited for the competition to get started, and we will be out to defend our status as defending champions,” Thaggard said.

Suva met Labasa in the final of the Fiji FACT last year, with a 2-0 scoreline.

“We only had one training session last week because we have just returned from the OFC Championship League in Vanuatu and needed some time for recovery.

“However, this is no excuse from our end as we are ready and are vying to run out this weekend and defend our title for the third time.”

Thaggard said their participation at the OFC Champions League taught his players a lot and exposed weaknesses that needed to be worked on.

“The boys learned a lot of new things from the competition, while at the same time, they were able to learn of certain weaknesses.

“Discipline is one main area where the boys need to work on.”

Thaggard says they are expecting a tough competition this year, but are ready to put their bodies on the line.

“We will be approaching all our games like the final, and we will not be underestimating any team.”

He is also calling out to Suva FC fans to come out in numbers to support the team this weekend at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

Suva has been grouped with Lautoka, Ba and Navua in Pool A.

Pool B has Labasa, Rewa, Nadi and Tailevu-Naitasiri.

The Digicel Fiji FACT competition will kick start with the group stages from June 9-11, and the semi-finals and final from June 17-18.

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