20 Nov 2015

Sport: Pacific football teams closing gap in Oceania

12:59 pm on 20 November 2015

One of Oceania's leading football clubs believes Pacific countries have more than enough talent to compete with and beat the best of New Zealand.

It's a been a good 12 months for the region, with Fiji impressing at the Under 20 Men's World Cup, the Fijian Olympic team qualifying for Rio and Papua New Guinea named as host of next year's Under 20 Women's World Cup.

Fiji players celebrate a goal against Honduras at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup.

Fijian players celebrate a goal during the Under 20 Men's World Cup in New Zealand. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Technical Director for Vanuatu club champions Amicale FC, Anthony Pisano, believes the gap is closing, especially in Melanesia.

"You've seen with Roy Krisha playing for Wellington Phoenix that there is a lot of talent here. Just what's lacking is the organisation and professionalism, which teams like Amicale are trying to bring forward to the Melanesian culture. I think in the next few years, whether it's the upcoming O-League [or another competition] you will find quite possibly one of Melanesian teams will be up there and possibly winning the tournament again".

Sanni Issa playing for Amicale FC against Auckland City during the 2014 Oceania Champions League final. Issa joined Auckland in the off-season.

Amicale FC and Auckland City during the 2014 O-League final. Photo: PHOTOSPORT