29 May 2019

Sport: Fiji keen on Krishna for Pacific Games

1:25 pm on 29 May 2019

The coach of the Fiji men's football team remains hopeful that star striker Roy Krishna will be available to play at the upcoming Pacific Games.

The 31 year old Krishna announced this week he was leaving the Wellington Phoenix after five and a half seasons, with the newly crowned A-League player of the year set to announce his new overseas club in the coming weeks, with media reports linking him to Korea.

Wellington striker Roy Krishna scoring goal

Roy Krishna is the all-time leading goal scorer for the Wellington Phoenix. Photo: © Copyright Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz Photosport Ltd 2019

The Fiji captain made his international debut at the 2007 Pacific Games in Samoa and national head coach Christophe Gamel hopes to be able to call on his best player when the Games return to Apia in July.

"FIFA just recognised the Pacific Games I think as a FIFA recognised game so it becomes a real call for the nation and official game so I hope and I will get him I hope really," he said. "Because after for his career I wish him the best and it's a personal choice for the club (that he choose to sign for), it's very important for him.

"After (he sorts out his club future) if we have him it's always a very big bonus. If we don't have it reduces our chance to go to the final and win the gold medal."

Roy Krishna playing for Fiji against New Zealand in 2017.

Roy Krishna playing for Fiji against New Zealand in 2017. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Christophe Gamel said the Labasa-born striker's performances for club and country speak for themself and he only wishes he had more players like Roy Krishna.

"Roy is a super person. He has really a big heart for Fiji, which is really important, but what can I say after his performances are speaking for him? He's someone who has really hard dedication and hard discipline and he gives everything to achieve his goal," said Gamel.

"We can see that if a Fijian guy works well in the good spirit he can reach a wonderful thing because being the player of the year in the A-League is not so easy, plus golden boot, so I'm very happy for him and he is very important for Fiji.

"We are trying to work with him - most of the time I work without him - but each time he comes (into the national team as) you have seen against Mauritius he brings something more professional which I try to reach but it's always a big addition for the team. I'm just complaining that I don't have more players like Roy!"

Roy Krishna scored the only goal of the match.

Roy Krishna scored the winning goal for Fiji against Mauritius back in March. Photo: Supplied/Fiji FA

Christophe Gamel said Roy Krishna is a one of a kind player but he believes there are others in Fiji who have the talent to also forge a career as accomplished football professional.

"I pick up one - he's 15 years old - at a tournament because don't forget it's a process," he said. "It's not that Roy was that good 10 or 11 years ago - he has grown up then he has been in a professional environment and he became who he is today. So, for that, we need to frame well the player and to give them the best for them to understand that they have potential and if they express it they can do wonders and for Roy it's the same."

Fiji football coach Christophe Gamel.

Fiji football coach Christophe Gamel. Photo: Fiji FA

The French coach, who has been in charge of the Bula Boys since 2016, said wherever Roy Krishna ends up playing his club football he will continue to work with the player and his club to ensure he is available for the national team to play in important international matches.

He the rest of the Fiji national team is working hard in preparation for the Pacific Games, with friendly matches against Vanuatu, Tahiti and Tonga pencilled in for next month before the team leaves for Apia.