The Papua New Guinea football fans have something to put their hopes on: the talented Joseph Waiwai, a 22-year-old player, is set to attend trials in one of the most traditional football clubs of New Zealand: Miramar Rangers.
“Joseph Waiwai started in his footballing career very early in school, the son of former PNG National Football player, Wesley Waiwai and Former Basketball National player, Emma Waiwai“, stated Gordon Manub, in interview to Oceania Football Center about the trials in New Zealand.
Joseph has represented Papua New Guinea at the youth level, U19, U23 and the National Men’s team in the MSG Cup in Vanuatu last year, 2022. Joseph has been part of the Southern Strikers Football Club and academy program, run under the Port Moresby Schools Football Association since 2016. The program initiated under the leadership of Mr. John Mogi, Wesley Waiwai and John Agovai. Joseph Waiwai was one of the original members of the Southern Strikers FC which competed in the National Soccer League (NSL) in 2017/2018 season and has been part of the club. He also has had stints with Star Mountain FC and Port Moresby Strikers FC and recently, Genesis FC in the last NSL Conference edition in 2022/23.
Joseph’s football development has been nurtured through the Strikers Football Club program which is focused on developing young talent through its school football program. Through its professional school’s development program (PSDP) initiated in 2017 with objective of producing educated footballer, Waiwai is now the first player to embark of journey to secure a football stint and contract with Miramar Rangers AFC in Wellington, New Zealand.
“With the core of players who started in the program currently undergoing studies in University of PNG, University of Technology in Lae and various learning institutions in Port Moresby, the Association is dedicated to look for opportunities for them to trail and play with clubs within our region“, said Port Moresby’s chairman Manub. Joseph’s opportunity will hopefully create an interest in Papua New Guinea with the high number of talented young footballers in the country to be scouted by clubs in Australia and New Zealand.
“With several senior players already having stints in New Zealand, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Australia, there is potential for Papua New Guinea to export players overseas. PNG should be talking about football as a developmental issue rather than just a sport as the football code has the potential to bring in foreign revenue into our economy“, said Gordon Manub, one of the responsibles for arranging the trials.
It is expected in the coming weeks more news on the development of Jospeh Waiwai are issued; this opportunity can bring a lot for Waiwai and his country itself – more Papua New Guineans to make their way into competitive football overseas.