The Solomon Islands’ superstar Raphael Lea’i is finally safe and sound in Turkey where his team, FK Velež Mostar from Bosnia and Herzegovia top-tier league, is preparing for the restart of the season; the club already played two friendly matches – 0-0 draw against Vorskla from Ukraine and a 2-1 defeat against FC Olympic Tashkent from Uzbekistan. Both of the matches Lea’i could not take place as he arrived late in Turkey. The striker had issues with his visa as he could not enter Turkey alongside ther rest of his team’s squad: “Everything is fine, Raphael has finally arrived in Turkey“, said David Houpere, one of the responsibles for the move of the Solomon Islander to Europe – “During his last two days, he was still in Sarajevo, with club staff sorting out his Schengen visa permit for travel to Turkey“, added Houpere. Velež staff member Adnan Dizdarević also spoke about why Lea’i – that arrived in time for the second friendly against Olympic Tashkent – did not play the match: “Raphael didn’t play today because we wanted to rest him, he did training and will join training with the team from tomorrow. He will be in the combination (will play) for the next game“, said Dizdarević to The Solomons Football Post.
Lea’i is going to have more opportunites to continue impressing at FK Velež Mostar: on 04th Feb the Bosnian side will taking on the current Lithuanian national champions FK Žalgiris Vilnius, the next day, 05th Feb, Velež will be playing against Romanian side CS Minaur Baia Mare Fotbal and on 09th Feb against Ukranian top-tier FC Minaj.
The Solomon Islands turned himself into the first ever Solomon Islands’ player to sign a pro-deal in Europe; the striker already played friendly matches for his new club – and even scored in one of those.
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