First ever Europe trial for Solomon Islands

Football player Joses Nawo may write history: He may become the first ever Solomon Islander to become a professional football player in Europe.

Solomon Islands is crazy about football. A look at the FIFA ranking learns that the country is second-best (141) of Oceania, after New Zealand (122). The tropical archipelago, located north-east from Australia is dreaming about having a Solomon Islander playing professionally in Europe for decades. Joses Nawo has been scouted as the ideal candidate and is close to pioneer. Nawo currently plays at Henderson Eels FC in the nation's top league. As a winger with 33 caps he is also one of the most experienced national team players of his country. Joses received a trial invitation from the Maltese Premier League club Tarxien Rainbows FC.

There is only one challenge: Funds to travel and stay in Europe during the trial. Travelling between Oceania and Europe expensive. It requires at least three flights one-way to get from Solomon Islands to Malta. 
The funds have to be collected at the 7th of January at latest. 

The funded amount will be used for:
- A return flight between Australia and Malta with a flexible return date (Honiara - Brisbane is already covered by Solomon Airlines)
- A budget to cover accommodation costs and meals if there is a need to extend the stay for 14 days
- A budget to cover the costs for personal guidance by the Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation foundation (to cover accommodation, meals, transport)
Background info
The invitation became possible with the help of the Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation. The organisation (founded in 2011) organizes training camps, trials and recruits coaches for countries in the South Pacific. The foundation visited Malta in November. Goal was to explore the opportunities for football players from Solomon Islands to make it to Europe. A range of meetings with professional clubs of the Maltese Premier League and Maltese 1st Division proofed to be fruitful.

Initiator behind this endeavor is Paul Driessen, president of The Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation. ‘I have dreamed about helping Pacific Islanders making it to Europe ever since I started football development support for the South Pacific in 2009. I always believed that one day our foundation in The Netherlands could be the linking pin to open up this opportunity. It is a new milestone for our foundation, Nawo’s club - Henderson Eels FC - and Solomon Islands football as a whole.’

Next step for Joses Nawo is getting his flight ticket and staying costs funded, which is a race against time. Nawo is expected at Tarxien Rainbows FC as soon as possible.

Driessen: ‘Things change rapidly in Europe so there is no time to lose for Joses. Tarxien Rainbows FC is an ambitious club with great facilities. It is essential for any premier league club in Europe to know what to expect. The fact that Tarxien Rainbows FC invites Joses Nawo is already quite something. You can image that his profile competes with hundreds of applicants from all over the world dreaming to make it to Europe. So having his trial budget prepared should be a top priority. The Maltese Premier League kicks off for the second half of the season at the 10th of January. Tarxien Rainbows FC needs time to examine Joses Nawo so he has to earn this contract with a successful trial.’


Paul Driessen
's-Hertogenbosch, NL

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