The 14 Rarotonga-based players and team officials of the Puaikura FC men’s team are set to depart tonight for the OFC Champions League Preliminary in Tonga kicking off this Friday (Local time).
The team came together over the weekend for final preparations with a training session held at the CIFA Complex in Matavera.
The round cup winners who will be short of five local players due to work commitments have also picked up two other players from two Rarotonga clubs and have been training tirelessly for the Qualifiers and are no doubt in peak form to impress in front of the Tongan crowds.
The travelling side will be met by the remaining contingent of seven overseas players including its three imports who supported the team throughout the 2016 season, as well as their head coach Matt Calcott in Auckland.
They will arrive in Nuku’Alofa on Wednesday with their first training session set for that evening at the Loto Tonga Soka Centre.
On Friday at 4:00pm local time Puaikura FC will come up against hosts Veitongo FC in the final match of Day One of the tournament.
The Tonga Football Association is poised to host the Qualifiers this year and will be very excited to kick-off the tournament over the weekend.
The Puaikura FC team will reside at the Tanoa International Hotel for the duration of their campaign.
Cook Islands Football Association wishes the team all the best in Tonga.
Puaikura FC Squad List:
Keegan INIA, Jarves APERAU, Anthony SAMUELA, Pekay EDWARDS, Anthony HOBBS, Kimiora SAMUELA, Samuel MAOATE-COX, Paul POILA, Campbell BEST, Grover HARMON, Temata KARIKA, Conroy TIPUTOA, Tyrell BARRINGER TAHIRI, Maro, BONSU-MARO, Kris CARPENTER, Renta YAMAMOTO, Dwayne TIPUTOA, Paul RHODES, Head Coach- Matt Calcott, Manager- Junior AREAI, Goal Keeper coach- Lloyd Patrick.