The National, Thursday July 25th, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
HOMEGROWN players must fit the bill if they want to make Team Kumul for October’s World Cup in England.
Gone are the days when players could make the Kumuls solely on the off one or two stand out performances – under the new Team Kumul banner consistency and quality of performance are invaluable traits.
The Kumul coaching staff under Mal Meninga and Adrian Lam have set stringent requirements under a “smart warrior” programme to produce better players.
The ‘smart warrior’ must be of a certain height, weight, speed, fitness level and be able to be educated to play better football if they are to be considered Kumul material. “It’s not only about being able to tackle and run the ball, the player must be able to work within the confines set to improve his game to be a smarter player,” Lam said.
“If the player cannot minimise mistakes, not know what is right and wrong then he does not fit the bill and therefore will not be considered,” he said.
“The Digicel Cup player has improved over the years and with Camp 4 we are still educating the player and doing a lot on video editing to break down the players’ specific roles,” Lam said.
That information on the player allows Kumul management to direct the individual to make effective changes to his playing style which should then improve the team’s performance.
“The camps have been good so far, as it has allowed the management to see who is doing the extra work and showing a marked improvement since Camp 1,” he said.
Lam said national selectors have been doing their part to include four new players and bring back Esau Siune after missing Camp 3.
“It basically comes down to the players commitment and discipline. Those players dropped did not reach the targets set for them,” he added.
In regards to the possible versus probable match on Sept 22, Lam confirmed that a further 12 players would be added to the current crop to have at least 18 players for each team.
“This will see Segeyaro (James), Costigan (Neville), Aiton (Paul), Parker (Jessie Joe), Yere (Menzie) and a few others that will be invited to come and be part of the final selection process,” Lam said.
Lam said once the team is finalized for the Prime Minister’s XIII match on Sept 29, they can wind down their preparations to work on the structure of their game plan with at least one lead-up match possibly against Scotland.