One of the most important players in the first half of 2019-20 Papua New Guinea National Soccer League, Nigel Malagian helped the Tusbab Stallions to reach the fourth position in the league. His great performances allowed him to join Lae City, one of the best football clubs in the country, for the second half of the season.
Malagian was one of he most important signings of Lae City for the remaining matches of the National Soccer League alongside with the Komolong brothers Alwin and Felix – “I had an awesome season with the Stallions, we have done very good in the first round. Moving to Lae was a had decision but I have to take this opportunity,” said Nigel.
The 24-year-old player is a versatile player that can play as a central back or as a left back and he surely can add a lot to the squad while Lae City is also a very good place to develop as a player – “Lae City is a well organized club and also very known in Oceania,” he pointed.
Malagian’s debut for Lae was quite special as he made his first ever appearence for his new club against Tusbab Stallions, his former team- “It was so emotional going against my former team but it was a great game,” he said. Both teams scored once and the final score was a 1-1 draw.
Nigel’s adaptation in his new club is not being that difficult as he knows very well the head coach Bob Morris. Both were part of the Papua New Guinea U-17 National Team delegation in the 2013 OFC U-17 Championship held in Vanuatu – “Bob is one of the best coaches in the country […] We have a great relationship, he is like a father to me,” he added.
Despite having some international experience at youth level, the former Stallions’ player has never played in the Senior National Team (Kapuls). However his good performances in the National Soccer League must be enough to book a spot in the upcoming call-ups – “Representing the Kapuls has always been my dream. If I have a chance it will be my dream coming true,” explained Nigel. It is important to remember that the Oceania Football Confederation has cancelled the 2020 OFC Nations Cup so it is not known when Papua New Guinea National Football Team will play their next international match.
Just like in almost every single country in the world, the football is currently suspended in PNG due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However the 24-year-old defender still believes that the 2019-20 season will resume so Lae City could fight for another national title – “Regardless some players left the team, there is still a great bunch of players and I still believe that we can win the National Soccer League if it return,” he said.