Vanuatu Football senior squad attended Sunday service this morning at Paton Memorial Church in Port Vila, lead by retired Pastors Sethy and Dorothy Regenvanu.
Among the players were Team Manager Harry Atisson, Coach Moise Moida, Captain Fenedy Masaufakalo and members of the technical department.
The PMC church and congregation welcomed the players and were overwhelmed to see them close for the first time.
“We only hear your names on the radio and watch you on TV, and today we are excited to see you and thank you for being part of this fellowship”, a leading PMC elder announced.
The members of the national team also present an item to the masses before receiving the elders blessing and the church, with an appeal to all the players to be good ambassadors and reminding everyone that winning is one objective of the sport but unifying the people is the most important part of the sport.
Coach Poida said, “we are here as Christians because we want quality in our spiritual side too, the virtues we are taught in church such as respect, patience and humbleness, goes with our physical form, to make us complete”.
Earlier this week, Vanuatu Team Manager Harry Atisson who is also an elder responsible for sports and social activities at PMC church calls for development in the national team’s spiritual side as a must for this nation to succeed.
“It is our only way forward, no matter what church or denomination each sportsman represents, we must continue to focus on our faith that also gives us skills and strength on the pitch”, said Atisson.
As a writer in sports, this is my first encounter in a national senior team and I will also agree that players and sportsmen and women must decide to be in form physically and spiritually in order to succeed.
Vanuatu senior team played their first friendly yesterday with Fiji ending with a 1-1 draw.
“This is still one baby step for us and we still have a long way to go”, said coach Poida.
In preparation for their second friendly match against Fiji on Tuesday 10th, the national team is camping at PMC’s Owen Hall social activity facility.
The two friendlies are part of their preparations towards the World Cup Qualifier in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea in 2016.