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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


A squad of twenty-three players representing Tuvalu arrived in Holland on 16/8/13 to play a total of 21 matches against lower-league Dutch opposition in a training camp which will finish off with a game against Eindhoven side Brabantia on 30/10/13.

There are a number of changes to the squad from that which took part in the 2011 Pacific Games in New Caledonia; many of the players from the 2011 squad were unable to take such a prolonged time off work to take part in the tour of Holland, which is understandable given that Tuvalu has an unemployment rate of around 80%.

Survivors from the 2011 Pacific Games side include goalkeeper Jelly Selau, defender Etimoni Timuani, midfielders James Lepaio (who scored against Solomon Islands in the competition) and Amatuse Telogo Peni, and forwards Lutelu Tanelua Tiute and Alopua Petoa, who scored a hat-trick against American Samoa in Tuvalu's opening match at the Pacific Games. 

Tuvalu's manager for the duration of the team's stay in Holland is Leen Looijen, who has had extensive playing and managerial experience in Holland (NEC Nijmegen being just one of the clubs which he managed), managed in Switzerland (as manager of St.-Gallen) and coached the now expunged Netherlands Antilles national side between 2007-08. 

André van der Ley will take up the role of assistant manager; van der Ley was a former player with Go Ahead Eagles and De Graafschaap, and is an ex-futsal international from the days when it was known as indoor football. De Ley was, believe it or not, kit-man for the Dutch national team at the 1998 World Cup.

The squad is being supplemented on occasion by a number of Dutch ex-professional players, one of which is Stan Valckx, who appeared for Holland at the 1994 World Cup Finals.

Back to the present day; please find below information on the Tuvalu squad currently touring Holland.

GOALKEEPERS: Tiely "Jelly" SELAU (23/7/83, Manu Laeva); Mauga "Bill" TONISE (18/3/93, Manu Laeva)

DEFENDERS: Iosefato TAUI ALEFAIO (24/6/92, Ranul Swanson, NZ); Vaiaho NAPOE (1/1/93, Ha'apai United); Sepetaio "Willie" NOKISI (11/9/93, Ranul Swanson, NZ); Etimoni "Reme" TIMUANI (14/10/91, Tofaga)

MIDFIELDERS: Uota ALE (6/6/86, Tofaga); Telava FOLITAO (5/12/89, Manu Laeva); James LEPAIO (6/9/92, Tofaga); Geoffrey LOGO MALEKO (27/1/92, Nauti); Amatusi TELOGO PENI (30/1/89, Ha'apai United); Leiato UOLI (1/6/92, Manu Laeva); Afelee VALOA (5/7/90, Nauti)

FORWARDS: Teake FILIALOFA (4/9/92, Manu Laeva); Taufaiva IONATANA (15/2/93, Nauti); Sepuli LOAHA (12/12/89, Ha'apai United); Panapa MAFOA (6/12/93, Tofaga); Nelesone MUSIKA (7/5/97, Ha'apai United); Alopua PETOA (24/1/90, Waitakere City, NZ); Sio SILITONE (23/4/92, Manu Laeva); Eric TEALOFI (13/6/97, Tofaga); Lutelu Tanelua TIUTE (6/10/90, Tofaga); Mac Makatui TUIA (25/6/94, Te Atatu, NZ)

MANAGER: Leen Looijen (NL) 

ASSISTANT MANAGER: André van der Ley
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to Frank Westerink from the Vrienden van Tuvalu/Dutch Support Group Tuvalu for providing the bulk of the information contained in the above article. Other sources of information include the OFC website and Wikipedia. As ever, any errors are the author's and the author's alone.

Frank and the rest of the team are on the lookout for volunteers to assist the Tuvalu team in any way possible during the remainder of their stay in Holland; should you be interested, kindly contact Brenda Mes (volunteer co-ordinator) via the following e-mail address:

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