Football has been played around the world for around a century; the game is changing and evolving from generation to generation, and new characteristics are being introduced by new players, coaches and all those involved in the creation of the sport. It is a must to always prepare the younger generations to perform more and better than previous generations so that football can continue to develop and create a good environment to achieve the expected results.
One of Oceania’s most promising young players, Raphael Le’ai, is already a reality for his club Henderson Eels, having already scored two goals in his club campaign in the current edition of the OFC Champions League. Le’ai was the top scorer of the Telekom S-League season in his country and has already played in tournaments on the world stage and received international recognition. The still 16-year-old was recently called up for a first training session with the Solomon Islands national team and had the most famous player in Solomon Islands football at the time, Micah Lea’alafa, at his side.
Lea’alafa, a dual national team player, has represented Solomon Islands at three FIFA Futsal World Cups and also won the OFC Champions League, playing an important role for New Zealand giants Auckland City. Recently, the 29-year-old striker had a short stint with South Africa’s top club Maritzburg United.
The meeting between Lea’alafa and Le’ai means a lot; two important generations for Solomon Islands’ sport. Lea’alafa was in the first ever FIFA Futsal World Cup played by the Kurukuru in 2008, Le’ai was the star-player of Solomon Islands in their first ever FIFA football tournament in 2019 – the U17 World Cup in Brazil. The fans just can not wait to see both players playing together in the pitch – the development process has to keep going on.