16 Feb 2019

Sport: Solomons futsal coach looks to foot it abroad

10:57 am on 16 February 2019

The newly appointed Solomon Islands futsal coach says he wants to make the team more competitive on the international stage.

Australian-based Brazilian Vinicius De Carvalho Leite was an assistant coach with the Kurukuru at the last World Cup in 2016.

He was approached by the Solomon Islands Football Federation earlier this year to take over the top job and says it's a role he couldn't turn down.

"Because I had worked with them and I think they have huge potential and I wanted to develop that and I said yes straight away," he said.

The Kurukuru have dominated the sport in Oceania over the past decade but De Carvalho Leite said he wants to take the team to the next level.

"So when we play against the powerhouse nations: Brazil, Spain, Italy, Portugal we want to be as competitive as we can and when you're not the best team you have to be the best structured team.

"So I'm working a lot on their defensive structure: exploiting counter-attacks but also we have brought in a strength and conditioning program with (assistant coach) Alex Argolo that shall refine and keep pushing and making these players stronger."

De Carvalho Leite said in the lead up to the Oceania Futsal Nations Cup in September he plans to make three visits to Solomon Islands to work with the team, while the squad will also spend time together overseas.

"Every time I come here I will spend between nine to twelve days...we're going to train twice a day, so that's equivalent to at least 20 sessions whilst I'm here. Also we're going to take them to Australia, so they're going to have a training camp there for about two weeks.

"Then we will be playing against some of the best club teams in Sydney and Gold Coast/Brisbane area as well as the Australian national team - if they get their team together...and also we're going to have a tour to China and Japan so we can get as many games as we can under our belt before the World Cup qualifiers."

The winner of the Oceania Championship will represent the region at the 2020 World Cup in Lithuania.