Solomon Islands coach Felipe Vega-Arango will be casting an eye on players challenging for a place in the Pacific Games squad in two friendlies ©SIFF

A provisional squad of 30 players have been named by the Solomon Islands for the FIFA international window friendly matches next week against Vanuatu and Fiji, a key opportunity for them to stake a claim for a place in the Pacific Games squad.

The players are selected from the local Telekom S-League.

Five overseas players who are available to represent the country in the match against Fiji in Lautoka next week are also drafted in the squad.

A squad of 23 players will make the final roster for matches as training under Spanish coach Felipe Vega-Arango already started in Honiara this week.

This is an opportunity for the coaches to look at the players and how they compete in international football leading up to the Pacific Games on home turf in November, the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) claimed.

"The door is still open for other players to be part of the extended squad in preparation for the Pacific Games 2023 and the coaching staff will continue to assess player’s performance in the country and abroad," the SIFF said in a statement.

Football has been on the programme at every Pacific Games since it made its debut at Suva in Fiji in 1963, except in 1999 in Guam.

The Solomon Islands have reached the final on three occasions, but been beaten on each occasion.

At Port Moresby in 1991 they lost 5-4 on penalties to Fiji after a 1-1 draw.

Four years later, at Papeete in Tahiti, they were beaten 2-0 by the hosts.

It was a similar story in 2011 in Nouméa when hosts New Caledonia defeated them 2-0.

In addition, Solomon Islands have won the bronze medal twice, at Guam in 1975 and Suva in 1979.

Solomon Islands are currently ranked 136th in the FIFA world rankings.

Only New Zealand, at 105th, are ranked higher in the Oceania Confederation.