30 May 2012

Sport: Hosts excited as Nations Cup kickoff nears

10:39 am on 30 May 2012

Excitement is building in Solomon Islands two days out from the start of the Oceania Nations Cup football tournament.

Seven of the eight team are already in Honiara, with New Zealand scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.

The host nation have just returned from a training camp in Malaita and coach Jacob Moli says they're looking forward to playing in front of their home fans.

"Actually it's going to be exciting and at the same time it's going to be a nerve-wracking environment for the new players as well because it is the first time for the players to play in front of a home crowd. It's a big tournament as well so it's going to be a bit of both so nervous but excited about it."

Solomon Islands first match is against Papua New Guinea on Saturday, with Samoa and Tahiti kicking the tournament off on Friday.

Meanwhile Fiji have named experienced goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau as captain for the tournament.