1 Jun 2015

Sport: Fiji U20 footballers prepared for 'baptism of fire' in first game

11:30 am on 1 June 2015

Fiji are taking a realistic approach to their debut appearance at the Under 20 Football World Cup.

With New Zealand the host country, Fiji won the Oceania qualifying tournament and are competing in a FIFA event for the first time.

Head coach Frank Farina admits today's first match against one of the tournament favourites, Germany, in Christchurch, will be a tough affair.

"It's completely new for Fiji Football that they're in this situation so we've got to get everyone ready and prepared for this first game because it's a baptism of fire, really, playing Germany first up but hopefully we can be competitive and do well".

Frank Farina says getting the chance to play against some of best teams in world football is something to savour.

That's the experience which is really lacking in Oceania. This opportunity for Fiji Football is absolutely fantastic. We're realistic - the World Cup is in New Zealand [and] most probably Fiji wouldn't have had this opportunity if it wasn't there so they've got to grab it with both hands and really run with it. It's been great - the experience these players are gaining from this and will gain from the World Cup will be really beneficial for the national team in future years.

Fiji arrives in New Zealand for the Under 20 Football World Cup.

Fiji arrives in New Zealand for the Under 20 Football World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT