The still only 17-year-old Solomon Islands football star Raphael Le’ai reached an impressive milestone in the past weekend when his side Henderson Eels draw against Central Coast by 1-1: the teenager scored his 50 goals a senior player.
The youngster got recognition in Oceania after guiding his country to their first ever appearance in a FIFA football tournament last year. Le’ai was the golden boot and best players of the 2018 U16 OFC Championship competition which his country ended up as runners-up after suffering a defeat in the penalty shootout against New Zealand.
The youngster that played for Marist FC and Henderson Eels in Solomon Islands’ top-tier league Telekom S-League recorded the mark of 48 goals in the national league since 2018. Currently, Le’ai is the joint top-goalscorer of the present edition of the national alongside his teammate Joses Nawo. The other two goals scored by Le’ai at senior level were in Vanuatu when defending Eels at 2020 OFC Champions League – he scored one beautiful against Lae City from Papua New Guinea in his team debut and helped Eels to overcome Lautoka from Fiji with another goal scored.
This is another impressive achievement in the career of the 17-year-old striker; Le’ai already trialled with an Argentinian professional club in the past and also trained with New Zealand’s Wellington Phoenix for a year when in a scholarship at Wellington’s Scotts College. He also had a stint with Australian’s top-side Melbourne Victory this year.