Solomon Islands international Atkin Kaua recently lived one of the most important moments of his football career when he travelled to Europe for trialling with professional clubs, with hopes to sign the first ever full-professional contract of a Solomon Islander in Europe. Despite all his efforts, a work permit prevented Kaua to sign with Santa Verena from Malta, but the player still has chances to have a new opportunity in a near future.
Oceania Football Center talked to the 23-year old midfielder that is set to move back to Solomon Islands this week after his experiences in the little European nation of Malta.
“It was a great experience; It was good to be in Malta and test their level“, said Kaua, “I had trials with three professional clubs in Malta” added the midfielder. Kaua was impressed with the facilities of the Maltese clubs: “If we had these good facilities in Solomon Islands, we would get better and better and surely we could compete against the football level they have in Malta”.
Despite being positive about the possibilities of competition between his countrymen and the European side, Kaua stated there are still many sensitive differences from his nation in comparison to where he trained: “There are differences: this is Europe you know, we have to be professional in everything in the field and also outside the field. Indeed, it is much better football here than back in my homeland, I guess“, mentioned the player that also had experience of playing in New Zealand.
Even having these differences, Kaua stated that he could adapt well to the new environment he was introduced: “Yes, it takes time to adapt to the weather when we arrive in a so different place; to arrive on time but I could manage well“.
“The technical level is high in Malta, but it is mostly due to the facilities they have. They are lucky to have so good venues to play football – when you train in so good facilities you can just get better and better“, stated Atkin Kaua.
Kaua could not keep in Europe for more trials, as Laugu United – his club in Solomon Islands that is funding his trip – could not keep him in Europe for more time. Kaua was close to sign a pro-deal in Malta, but a work permit could not be issued in time for him as the local league was close to an end and the transfer window was . Kaua stated that Paul Driessen, the responsible to arrange his trials and the president of Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation, did not stay for long with him in the country: “He stood here with me for three days and helped me with communication. After these three days he departed to a trip to Tahiti”, said Atkin Kaua.
After flying back his country, Kaua’s future might be linked with his homeland club Laugu United. Kaua is hopeful he can be back for another trials in Europe still in 2020: “Yes, maybe hopefully I can be back, but this is still uncertain“, said the player. “The plan is going back home and keep working, that’s it; that is what I can do to keep developing“, added Kaua.
The still young Atkin Kaua scored eleven goals in the last edition of the Telekom S-League, the national football league of Solomon Islands. He also took part of Marist’s squad in 2018, helping them to reach the semifinals of the OFC Champions League. The 23-year attacking midfielder made his debut for Solomon Islands national team in 2016, having 22 appearences for his country and scoring five goals.
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