Lea’alafa plays 38 minutes in Maritzburg United’s draw

Solomon Islander forward Micah Lea’alafa played 38 minutes in Maritzburg United 2-2 draw against SuperSport United.

Lea’alafa was named for Maritzburg’s starting eleven for the second straight match but he was subbed off in the first half. Bandile Shandu replaced him. It is not clear if he was replaced due to injury or technical reasons.

Micah Lea’alafa. Source: Maritzburg United Media

New Zealander Jeremy Brockie also played. He joined the pitch in the second half to replace Bongokuhle Hlongwane.

Maritzburg is currently in the 8th position with 22 points in sixteen matches in 2019-20 ABSA Premiership, the top tier of South African football.


Rumours link Vanuatu National Team players to Malampa Revivors

There are some rumours that many players from Vanuatu National Football Team are ready to play for Malampa Revivors in 2020 OFC Champions League.

Some of the released names are Bob Jeffery (Tafea), Azariah Soromon (Tupuji Imere), Gordshem Dona (Tafea) and Kaloram Firiam (Ifira Black Bird). There is nothing confirmed yet but people might see them playing for Malampa Revivors in the next OFC Champions League.

Azariah Soromon is one of the players linked to Malampa Revivors. Source: OFC Media

Jeffery, Dona and Firiam already played for Malampa Revivors in 2019 OFC Champions League so they are probably going to play for Revivors again. Another player that has been linked to Revivors was central defender Jason Thomas. Oceania Football Center keep investigating these rumours in order to bring more accurate information.

Revivors will host 2020 OFC Champions League group B at Luganville Soccer City Stadium, Vanuatu.

Piscopo scores for Olyroos against Iraq

The 2020 AFC U-23 Championship is the 4th edition of the AFC U-23 Championship. Sixteen teams will fight for the continental title between 8–26 January in Thailand.

The opening match was contested between Iraq and Australia. Wellington Phoenix winger Reno Piscopo opened the scoreboard for Australia in the 62nd minute but it was not enough for Olyroos as the match finished drawn at one. Check the highlights in the video below:

Piscopo played 64 minutes before being replaced by Zach Duncan. Australia’s next match will take place on Saturday night against Thailand.

Rumours link former PNG head coach to Fiji National Team

Fiji FA management are still looking for a new head coach for Fiji National Football Team as 2020 OFC Nations Cup gets even closer. This position is vacant since Christophe Gamel left the charge in August 2019.

Many coaches from all over the world have applied for the job and there are some rumours that former Papua New Guinea National Football Team head coach Flemming Serritslev is one of the favourite candidates to be named as Fiji National Team commander.

Serritslev (wearing glasses) during a Papua New Guinea match.

Serritslev coached Kapuls from 2015 to 2017, leading them to reach 2016 OFC Nations Cup final. According to PNG international Raymond Gunemba, Serritslev was the key figure of Papua New Guinea’s success in the last OFC Nations Cup.

The 72 years old Danish manager coached Kapuls for 12 matches.

Brian Kaltak back into training in New Zealand

The holiday season is over and it is time for football players to come back into training and it is not different for Ni-Vanuatu Brian Kaltak. The 26 years old central back is preparing himself for the second half of the football season in New Zealand.

Brian Kaltak: an inspiration for Pacific people

Kaltak (in the middle) is back into training in New Zealand. Source: Brian Kaltak official account on Facebook

Kaltak and Auckland City will have a busy semester. Currently leading ISPS Handa Premiership, the Navy Blues will travel to Tahiti to play OFC Champions League group stage in March.

Brian Kaltak played five matches in ISPS Handa Premiership current season. Auckland City face Waitakere United on Saturday in the 9th matchweek of the league.

Samoan Federation new CEO gets down to business

It was recently reported that Football Federation Samoa (FFS) appointed a new CEO. Seve Folototo Seve has a PhD in Financial Accounting and Master of Commerce from the Australian National University and he was the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship between 2016 and 2019.

He was officialy named as Football Federation Samoa’s CEO and started working for FFS. According to FFS Media
, Seve was officially welcomed by FFS President Papali’i Samuel Petaia and staff on Monday 6th January 2020 at the FFS Headquarters in Tuanaimato. 

Seve has some ambitious plans for the future – “In the long run, I would like to see better results from our national teams, as well as results in the growth and development of young Samoan football players which can be measured by the success of our national teams and in securing contracts to play in Australia, New Zeland and even Europe.” he stated.

Samoa is currently 194th placed at FIFA Ranking.

Le’ai and Kofana set to play OFC Champions League for Henderson Eels

Two of the brightest youngsters in Oceania, Raphael Le’ai and Leon Kofana are ready to play OFC Champions League for the first time ever. According to Henderson Eels head coach, Eddie Marahare, the Solomon Islanders rising stars will play 2020 OFC Champions League for Henderson Eels.

2019-20 Telekom S-League is not over yet but Henderson Eels and Solomon Islands are already qualified for the continental championship. Eels is currently in the second position but they need a miracle to overtake Solomon Warriors to lift the league’s trophy.

Le’ai (left) and Kofana (right) representing Henderson Eels. Source: SIFF Media

OFC Champions League Group Stage is scheduled to be played between February and March. Le’ai and Kofana are expected to come back to New Zealand to attend Scots College soon.

They arrived at Henderson Eels in November and they have been key players since then. Kofana is part of the defensive heart of the team while Le’ai scored 13 goals in six matches in 2019-20 Telekom S-League so far.

Papua New Guinean players selected for ISPS Handa Permiership Team of the Week

After a long delay, New Zealand Football released the ISPS Handa Premiership Team of the Week 8 with great news for Papua New Guinea once there are two players from PNG in the list: Aaron Spain and Tommy Semmy.

ISPS Handa Premiership – Team of the Week 8

Both players had outstanding performances in the last matchweek of 2019. Semmy was a key player for Hamilton Wanderers in the 2-1 win against Hawke’s Bay United while Aaron Spain had a solid match in Team Wellington’s 1-1 draw against Waitakere United.

Spain (left) and Semmy (right)

After a bad beginning, Tommy Semmy is getting better and better to help his team to fight for points and climb the ladder as Hamilton Wanderers stand in the 10th and last position in the table. Aaron Spain is playing an important role in second placed Team Wellington’s defense.

That is the first time that Semmy was named for the Team of the Week in 2019-20 season while Spain was named for the second time. You can check all “Team of the Week” awards by clicking here.

Tonga: the kingdom of the Polovili family

Once upon a time in a far far away island in the Pacific Ocean a kingdom was raised… A kingdom that can be unforgettable in the history of this island. The Polovili’s reign is not an old kingdom but their subjects can expect some good things from them and it is not food or money, but pride.

Timote Moleni – The King – is a former National Team player and head coach. He is the current Veitongo’s head coach. This king already made some important things and the last one was pretty amazing as he led Veitongo to win 2019 Tongan Major League and qualify for 2020 OFC Champions League preliminary round with 21 wins in 21 matches.

Timote – The King

As a king, Timote has some heirs in the succession line: Prince Hemaloto and Princess Ana, two beautiful and young siblings that are ready to shine and take the name of Polovili’s Kingdom to the whole world.

Like a good prince and a good princess, they already wear the number of the kings – the number 10. Prince Hemaloto is the most important player nowadays and he deservedly wears the Tonga’s number 10 as he did in 2019 Pacific Games held in Samoa. Princess Ana is very young but she is already shining as she wore Tonga’s number 10 in 2019 OFC U19 Women’s Championship.

Ana (wearing white) and Hemaloto (wearing red shirt) playing for Tonga

The brightness comes from inside and they do it – They ruled their country in 2019 by scoring lots of goals. Hemaloto was the top scorer of Men’s league while his sister Ana finished the season as Women’s league top scorer.

They are both young – Hemaloto is 22 and Ana is 17 – and the subjects can expect good things from them. It is obvious that one player will not change the reality alone to take Tonga to a FIFA World Cup, but Tongan people will be very proud of them soon.

Shane Smeltz comes back from retirement

New Zealander Shane Smeltz comes back from retirement. The two time A-League Golden Boot winner is set to play for Gold Coast United in 2020 Australian National Premier League.

Smeltz is a legend when it comes to football in Australia. He scored 84 goals in 174 A-League matches – only Besart Berisha scored more goals than him in A-League.

The 38 years old striker last played professionally in 2017 when he played for Indonesian side Borneo FC. He scored 24 goals in 58 matches for New Zealand National Football Team.