Solomon Islands

The past
Solomons Islands are set for their fifth appearance at the global tournament. The only exceptions were 2011 when Tahiti claimed continental honours, and 2005 when no Pacific Islands’ nations were present in an abbreviated 12-nation field. Solomon Islands featured at the 2008 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup as Oceania representatives despite no continental qualifying competition being held that year. The Bilikiki have done more than just make up the numbers in the past and have developed a reputation for playing with verve and skill. They have achieved wins against Cameroon (2006), El Salvador (2008) and Uruguay (2009), though are yet to progress to the knockout round.

The present
Solomon Islands enjoyed an impressive, albeit brief, qualification campaign securing comfortable wins over Vanuatu and New Caledonia, which was enough to win a fourth continental title. Their preparations for the qualifiers, held just a fortnight prior to Tahiti 2013 were relatively brief, meaning the Melanesians will be partly relying on their considerable natural talent in French Polynesia.

The future
Though a number of players remain from their team which took part at Dubai 2009, there is a change in direction with Gideon Omokirio assuming the coaching reins following a long and distinguished career for Solomon Islands, both on sand and grass, A four-time FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup participant, Omokirio boasts considerable credibility in the game, not to mention first-hand familiarity with several players whom he played alongside at Dubai 2009. Though several of the current group are new to the elite level, the Solomons appear well placed to perform with distinction at the first FIFA tournament to be staged in a Pacific Islands nation.