CookIslandsFootball.com > News > OFC U-17 Championship Preliminaries, Samoa > Teens gear up for international debut

Teens gear up for international debut

Team Captain Pekay Edwards, 16 years of age is a student at Tereora College but hails from the island of Atiu and being selected in the Cook Islands U17 Football squad has paid off for Edwards, working hard at training sessions.
Edward’s role is that of importance to the team as a team Captain but also as the team striker and it is his ‘goal’ to at least score a goal in every game while at the championship.
“I will endeavour to encourage my team to win our matches against Tonga, American Samoa and host Samoa,” says Edwards.
“Concentration is the main focus against our opposing teams while in Samoa, I believe that we can succeed in achieving our goal as a team,” he says.
In addition aspiring goal keeper Keegan Inia has similar objectives to Pekay Edwards for the upcoming tournament. Inia was born in New Zealand however his Cook Islands roots is inherited from his Cook Island father.
He plays as a goal keeper for Central United FC however football was a hobby in his initial football career where he played at Onehunga Mangere High School in 2010 during physical education period. In Year 10 he was selected to play in the First XI of Onehunga Mangere High School where he was then scouted for Central United FC.
“Being selected to represent the Cook Islands in the U-17 category is a realization for me,” says Inia. “I am overwhelmed at this opportunity and I am going to give it my all at the championship.”
Furthermore, Inia aims to be the best goal keeper at the tournament as well as to leave a good impression on his team mates.
“I look forward to the preliminaries in Samoa and anticipate to improve my skills during the championship,” says Inia.
Head coach Tuka Tisam expressed his views on Edwards and Inia, being young and versatile and is hopeful that they take their football career further to represent the Cook Islands national side.
“I have seen Pekay grow as a player, his aggression on the field and is strong minded about what he wants, this is a trait I look for in our young players,” says Tisam. “It’s that motivation you see in him that will encourage his peers to work hard.”
“The competitive attitude of Keegan in the goal area is encouragement enough for the defense line-up. He has the confidence about him where I believe will strengthen not only the defense but hopefully the whole team with the team Captain in tow,” says Tisam.
The team faced a selected President’s First XI side last Saturday at the CIFA complex in Matavera, Tisam saw the pressure the team was facing with some the best senior players from around Rarotonga however Pekay and Keegan encouraged and persuaded their team mates to put their training into action.

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