Parents and players of Parramata futsal club this week bid farewell to a shining member of the young team who left to join an academy in Australia.
Joseph Onika Junior was selected by the Melbourne academy after a successful trial in July this year.
Excited team manager Thomsa Kalola told Star Sports at the airport yesterday the initiative was struck by the club with the Melbourne academy early this year.
“The deal is to send two players that pass trials, to study and play futsal in Australia.
“This year after the successful U16 Gold Coast Youth challenge, our club utilised the deal and send three players for the trial.
“The three members of the club we sent were Moffat Kiriau, Albert Wetney and Joseph Onika Junior.
“Joseph Onika Junior went through along with Moffat Kiriau but the academy decided we send one only as it wants to see how the program will pan out.”
Onika Junior will spend 11 weeks at the academy.
Mr Kalola said it was an excellent initiative that all futsal clubs in the country must exhaust to ensure a good number of young futsal talents ply their trades in highly competitive environment of Australia.
“There are a lot of young futsal talents that we cannot afford to accommodate and properly utulise, therefore this is one way we can help expose as many young talents as possible.
“Next year we should send two again under the program. If all Honiara clubs strike same deals and send two players each every year, it would be a huge boost to futsal in the coming years.”
Mr Kalola said the club is meeting the travel expenses of their candidate therefore express deep appreciation to parents and team members for their tireless support.
Committee member of the club Richard Ande said Onika Junior will not only represent the club in Australia but carries the flag of Solomon Islands.
“It is therefore only right that responsible authorities throw in their support in such initiatives.
“Parents and the club have struggled and give all they can in the development of this club and at the end of the day, a member representing this club overseas is representing the country.
“Futsal code should therefore be given serious attention as well as beach soccer in terms of establishing proper facilities to encourage these two codes which already showed their parts by reaching the World Cup tournaments.
Mr Kalola added that the team will send three teams to Gold Coast again in January next year –an improvement from the only one team sent last year.
“We are going to send the U14 and U15 as well.
“This is good news and a sign of good things waiting to happen in futsal.