This is good news and history for soccer in the country if achieved because our local players will soon be exposed to the international arena to major clubs in the English Premier League.
Wigan Athletic indicated their interest following impressive results achieved by our National Futsal team during the regional and World Cup tournaments and also the outstanding performance by our Beach Soccer team at the OFC qualifications and World Cup playoffs.
NOCSI president Fred Maetoloa said he has already held talks with the Solomon Islands Football Federation and would be working closely to link SIFF with the English side.
Maetoloa told Star Sports that NOCSI through the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) has established ties with Wigan Athletic in which a Memorandum of Understanding was already signed in October last year.
Maetoloa said this opportunity would be a history for Solomon Islands soccer because our local players would be exposed to bigger clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and other big names in the Barclay’s Premier League.
“This is the road for our young players”, he said.
Wigan Athletic is known internationally for its capability in developing young players and marketing them to professional football clubs around England, Spain, Italy, France to name a few.
Recently Wigan sold one player from Ecuador for 20 million pounds to one of the major English Football clubs.
Maetoloa added that NOCSI and SIFF would soon be sending profiles of some of our young players to Wigan for selection.
He said under the signed MOU NOCSI and SIFF would be meeting the travelling cost for any selected players but all the other costs like accommodation and food would be met by the English club.
“We wanted to send as much as many profiles possible and they would do the selection themselves”, he said.
Maetoloa said certain criteria’s have to be met by selected players before they could be selected.
No names have yet been released but Maetoloa said that they would be focusing on young players especially the talented futsal and beach soccer players.
Maetoloa said during the recent ONOC meeting in Fiji two weeks ago, he has also met with the Wigan Athletic management and reaffirmed our willingness to send our players there.
The English Premier League side which is based in Northern England shares the same landmass with big English club names such as Manchester United and Manchester City.