Recently, it was reported by New Caledonian media that New Caledonia young star Lues Waya is going to move Europe to sign for a 4th-tier side in France. But Waya is not the only one in New Caledonia who is moving abroad to play football. Joseph Athalé, former AS Wetr, AS Magenta and most recently playing for Hienghène Sport, recently told New Caledonia Football Federation that he is moving France to play for National 2 (4th-tier side) side Olympique Saint-Quentin.
Athalé helped Hienghène Sport to conclude a fantastic season in 2019 as they beat their local rivals AS Magenta at the OFC Champions League final and turned themselves into the only second team outside Australia and New Zealand to represent OFC at the FIFA Clubs World Cup – later in 2021 Tahitian side AS Piraé also took part of the tournament being the third in this list after they were invited to participate in the intercontinental tournament.
The New Caledonian international told the FCF he is in very good conditions: “I feel good, in great shape. The integration was easy and the players put me at ease very quickly. It is a very interesting challenge and the level is very high“, said Athalé. The 27-year-old also added about his game style “my position is central defender or as defensive midfielder. I rotate between these two positions but it is more in the axis behind that I evolve for the moment”, said the player.
The defender was also in the 2022 FIFA World Cup OFC Qualifying Tournament representing his country. New Caledonia failed to impress in the tournament, being knocked-out in the group stage after being defeated by Fiji, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.