Lautoka is out to put an end to its 18-year drought after failing to take the silverware home since they last won the title in 2002. The Blues last won the Fiji FACT title when they defeated Nasinu 3-2 in the penalty shootout at home at Churchill Park in Lautoka.
Looking at their recent performance at the Courts Inter District Championship last month, the Anginesh Prasad-coached side will be an unpredictable side in this year’s Vodafone Fiji FACT. Taking into account their performance in the Vodafone Premier League (VPL), Lautoka will be a threat to even the most formidable teams in this tournament. They have been improving game after game and are expected to create major upsets in their Group.
They have worked on ironing out their errors during their last outing against Rewa in the VPL fixture where they led 3-1 at halftime and the Delta Tigers came from behind to beat them 5-3. The loss must have been an eye-opener for the Sugar City Boys.
The Blues are drawn, defending champions Nadi, VPL champions Suva and minnows Navua in Group B.
Prasad has mapped out Lautoka’s campaign in the Vodafone Fiji FACT and has banked on experienced players to boost the blue. This includes talisman Sitiveni Cavuilagi, Dave Radrigai, Zibraaz Sahib, Jone Vono Jnr, Malakai Rakula, Kolinio Sivoki, Epeli Leiroti, Aaron Edward and Sekove Finau. They will be supported by young stars Muni Shivam Naidu, Raj Pillay, Avneel Nand, Samuela Gavo and Epeli Rokotuva.
Lautoka has won the Fiji FACT title twice and has been runners-up three times since its inception in 1991. They last featured in the final in 2009 but were beaten 2-1 by Navua at ANZ Stadium in Suva.
Lautoka will start its campaign against Nadi in the first round on Saturday, November 21 at Churchill Park in Lautoka, while the second match will be against Navua on Wednesday, November 25 at 3 pm at Subrail Park in Labasa. Their final pool match will also be at Subrail Park against host Suva on Thursday, November 26 at 4 pm.