24 Mar 2014

American Samoa soccer coach says he may return, as film hits festivals

8:13 am on 24 March 2014

A documentary on the American Samoan soccer team is set to hit film festivals next month.

Next Goal Wins is a UK film produced by Kristian Brodie and directed by Steve Jamison and Mike Brett, that charts the fortunes of the team, who suffered a record 31-0 loss to Australia in 2001.

They filmed the team over two years as they attempted to qualify for the World Cup, which culminated in their first ever win, against Tonga.

The veteran coach, Dutchman Thomas Rongen, says the experience was a turning point for him as well, as he learnt how to adapt to the culture.

"This experience was as much of a learning curve for me as it was for the players. You know, I became... spiritually during that period of time I spent in American Samoa. I had to immerse myself in their culture and I threw out old books and developed a new training plan based on what I learnt in the short time while I was at the island."

Thomas Rongen.

Next Goal Wins will be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, which starts on April the 16th.