The Solomon Islands youth international Charles Mani and his side Hibiscus Coast AFC are preparing for their debut in the season in Lotto NRFL Division 2, in New Zealand. The 18-year-old attacker is already in the senior team of Hibiscus and played in a friendly match this Saturday (06th June) against Northland in Auckland.
The result could not be better for Mani and his new club: 6-2 in favour of Hibiscus. Mani could not have a better start for his side as the young Solomon Islander recorded three assists in the clash; Mani played the entire 90 minutes to end having a very good match. “It was a bit hard in the start, but me and my teammates managed to win in this preseason match,” said Mani.
Mani also stated he is confident for the new season – their debut game will be against Takapuna in the next weekend: “I am 100% ready for the game, for the new season. I see all my teammates ready for the challenge,” explained the Solomon Islander player.
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This is Mani’s first season out of New Zealand; the striker could not play any official matches in New Zealand in the past year when playing for Glenfield – a football player is only allowed by FIFA to play official games out of his country if he is at least 18-years-old, as Mani celebrated his 18th birthday in February he is now allowed to play.
In 2019, in the school break in New Zealand – Mani is also finishing his studies in the country while playing for Hibiscus Coast AFC – he came back to Solomon Islands where he played for Kossa in Telekom S-League, the top-tier football league in his homenation.
Charles helped Solomon Islands to qualify for their first ever FIFA football tournament as they finished 2nd in the 2018 OFC U16 Championship. The young talented played represented his country in Brazil at U17 FIFA World Cup featuring all three matches of the group stage against Italy, Paraguai and México.