Hekari United is the most known football club from Papua New Guinea; their eight national titles and the fact to be first ever team that does not come from Australia or New Zealand to win the OFC Champions League are the most remembered achievements about the Port Moresby-based team.
Hekari also recruited the best of Pacific Islands’ talent to achieve their goals during the past decades: the likes of Osea Vakatalesau, Pita Boleitoga and Alvin Singh – historical players of Fiji national team – took part in the most important match of Hekari United history; the 3-0 loss against Al-Wahda from UAE at 2010 FIFA Clubs’ World Cup.
Historically, Hekari also developed a strong relationship with Solomon Islands; many historical players from the country also helped the Papua New Guinean powerhouse to achieve glory, just to mention few of them: Stanley Waita, Gideon Omokirio and Henry Fa’arodo.
Most recently, the likes the current Solomon Islands national team members Gibson Daudau and Tuti Zama Tanito helped Hekari to qualify once again for the 2020 OFC Champions League, after four years without taking part in the most important club football tournament of the region.
In the start of the year, two Solomon Islands players were signed by Hekari’s staff heading for the OFC Champions League and PNG National Soccer League: Robert Laua and the star-goalkeeper Anthony Talo. The two players met another compatriot, the 18-year old fullback Junior David, to restate the strong bonds of Hekari United and Solomon Islands football. Unfortunately, Laua and Talo already left Hekari United squad and only the young David represents the gold and green in the Port Moresby-based squad.
“It is my second season now, I started last year’s season at Hekari“, informs David. The young player spent one year with strong Solomon Islands’ side Marist FC at Telikom S-League back in his home country before joining Hekari United in 2019.
“It is a great experience to be playing in Hekari; in terms of training with well experienced players in the pacific, which gives a boost to my football, always working hard“, states the 18-year old. The fullback also added that “the OFC Champions League gave me a lot of lessons to learn and improve from. It also gave me experience and confidence“.
The experience at OFC Champions League was certainly crucial for the development of David’s football career; but the young player was not fully satisfied with his performance at his 1st ever OFC Champions League appearance: “It is my first appearence at OFC Champions League. The pressure and opponents are different from domestic league, so for me I am not at my best yet. But, comingom from this first Champions League appearence, I am looking forward for upcoming editions and I will do better. The team really played well, just unlucky for us. We hope to do well in next Champions League”, explains Junior David.
In 2019, David represented Solomon Islands at OFC U23 Olympic Qualifiers where his team reached the grand final match of the competition. Unfortunately for them, they were beaten by a very strong New Zealand side in the final and could not qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games Men’s football tournament.
Recently, Junior David was called up in a provisional squad of Solomon Islands to prepare heading for the OFC Nations Cup that is schedule to play this year in New Zealand: “For me it is a previllage to be named in the Solomon Islands national team camp. It is what I dreamed of, to be in the senior national team. Now, for me, I to work hard and train hard to be in the final squad. I am so thankful and happy“, mentions David.
Junior David tells his countrymen that are eager to see the big prospect he is that “I will continue to work hard and perform in the league and all competitioms” and adds that “playing in big clubs in other country is my next step I am working towards“; Also to his fans in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, David adds: “I am confident that I will peform to my best – reach my potential. I will just keep on working hard and improve from my mistakes“.
To finish his interview with Oceania Football Center, David responds one very important question especifically to Hekari United fans: Is Hekari United underperforming at PNG National Soccer League? David responds: “I think the team can perform well. It comes back to us players to make it happen. We just need to focus more and work hard to get back to the team expectation”, says David not denying the frustrating results Hekari United had before the break of the national league due the COVID-19 pandemic.
Solomon Islands football fans can be proud of the young talented Junior David; Hekari United is a very important team at Oceanian football scenario and the 18-year old fullback has a very good place to develop his football. The still very young player is already very useful for Hekari United – being a starter at OFC Champions League – and with his development can turn into one more Solomon Islands’ star to represent the Papua New Guinean powerhouse.