After missing out on the Pacific Games in 2019, the Fiji Pearls are gearing up with unwavering determination to claim gold and re-establish their dominance in netball.
The team made a strategic decision four years ago to participate in the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, finishing in 14th place, but this year, they have set their sights on glory at the Pacific Games.
Netball Fiji chief executive, Vivia Koster, expressed confidence in the team’s abilities, highlighting the inclusion of two impressive players, Naviniya Sivo and Reama Verekoto, who have risen from being non-travelling reserves to vital members of the main squad.
Additionally, Afa Rusivakula, Alisi Naqiri, and Alesi Waqa Paul have made their strong comeback after taking a break, adding depth and experience to the lineup. According to Koster, the team’s recent participation in the Quad Series, where they faced formidable opponents from Australia, proved to be invaluable.
“The opportunity to play teams of that caliber is incredible, it provided much needed match play, it provided opportunities for learning around knowledge and skill of netball. It is particularly for those players who are new to the squad as it provided them the opportunity to play a different type of netball at a different speed,” Koster emphasized.
Preparation is key, and the final 12-member squad is engaged in rigorous training matches, including challenging sessions with the national men’s team. These intense training sessions aim to fine-tune their skills and strengthen team cohesion before they embark on their journey to Honiara.
The Pacific Games are scheduled from November 19- December 2.