BY ROMULUS HUTA
MORE overseas clubs are keen on signing Solomon Islands’ latest football prodigy, Raphael Le’ai ‘Rafa’.
Following the interest shown by top Argentine Premier Division Club Deportivo Godoy Cruz last month, the latest to come on board is Australia’s Hyundai A-League Club, Brisbane Roar FC.
According to an email sighted by SunSPORTS yesterday, Roar’s Technical Director Drew Sherman invites Le’ai for a one-week trial with their club in Brisbane.
“I am writing in regards to young Solomon Islands player, Raphael Le’ai, who we at Brisbane Roar have been keeping a keen eye on since the OFC Under-16s Championship.
“It is my understanding that Raphael has recently been offered an opportunity to trial with an Argentinian Club, we are exploring the possibility of him perhaps coming to Brisbane for a week’s training with us here at the Roar,” an email sent by Sherman to Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF), dated November 1, stated.
Sherman is responsible for the management and direction of the youth department at Brisbane Roar and he works closely with their A-League squad’s Head Coach and former Socceroo, John Aloisi and Director of Football, Craig Moore to ensure young players are provided the best opportunity of forging professional careers at the club.
A Pro-License and Football Association (FA) Advanced Youth License holder, Sherman has previous working experience with Southampton Academy in United Kingdom and also a former head coach and a technical director for Cook Islands football in 2015.
Sherman believes Le’ai can make the most of this opportunity in his young career if he is signed by their club.
“Brisbane Roar has a proud history of developing young players and providing opportunities for young Pacific Islanders.
“We have in the past couple of seasons established Talent ID networks through PNG and New Caledonia particularly, and accepted trialists from both countries.
“Personally, I have seen the talent in the Pacific Islands first hand having been Technical Director and Head coach of the Cook Islands National Team, and I am passionate about ensuring there’s a better pathway to professional football for children in the islands.
“I’d be keen to speak to you (SIFF) further about how we are able to bring Raphael over to Brisbane for a week in the near future,” Sherman assured.
Should Le’ai takes up the opportunity with Brisbane Roar, he may become the third footballer from Solomon Islands to play in the A-League since Henry Fa’arodo’s stint with Perth Glory in 2005/06 and Benjamin Totori’s one year spell with Wellington Phoenix during the 2012/13 season.
About Brisbane Roar FC
Brisbane Roar Football Club is a professional Australian soccer club based in Queensland and has won two A-League premiership titles and three A-League Championship titles over the years. They had also competed five times in the Asian Club Champions league.
The club plays home matches at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and is the only club in the A-League not to have lost a Grand Final.
Meanwhile, in related news regarding the interest shown by the Argentine club to sign up the talented Solomon Islander, Marist FC and SIFF are yet to come out regarding the latest update on the deal.