IC14 Vignettes – Maciu Raida (Fiji Tribe)
Tuesday, August 12 2014 @ 09:45 pm ACST
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The Raiwaqa Giants (Bulldogs) created the biggest upset in Fiji football this year when Maciu Raida’s pride and joy (the club he created and developed) won the 2014 AFL Fiji premiership. Maciu is now in Australia as part of the Fiji Tribe team at the IC14 and proud to be representing his country at his adopted game.
“It's very cold here in Melbourne.” He begins, and you can feel he is rubbing his hands together for warmth. “But anyway, I [came to] know this game from 2011, before the last International Cup, from a workmate Chris Sagaitu. He introduced it to me and asked me to have a shot. For me as I grew up I hated this game [Australian Rules footy], but once I had tried it I really loved it. It was a very exciting game and most of all it's a mixture of a lot of other sports.”
“For the IC14 this Fijian team was prepared very well because our pool is very tough. Our first game was with Ireland, the winner from 2011. We take our pool seriously and do not underestimate any team. We are very new into this game [compared to other teams in their pool].”
“Our journey was tough because we had to pay our own fares and accommodation, so it's very, very tough. Some of the new players were upset and distressed at first because [to come and play] this game is very expensive in Australia. But [to represent our country] we have to come to play.”
“Our competition is tough and for our first game we play a top team. But it's a boost for us to play against an experience team. It’s a great learning experience for us all.”
As for who Maciu thinks will win the men’s and women’s competitions he says “I’m not ready to commit any predictions yet as it is too early and anything can happen.”
After a first round loss to Ireland, the Tribe come up against Indonesia and then Great Britain. We wish the Fiji Tribe all the best for the rest of the tournament.