30 Dec 2019

Sport: Airline steps in to help Solomons' football players

12:46 pm on 30 December 2019

Solomon Airlines has stepped in to help support two Solomon Islands football internationals, who have been invited to trial at a professional club in Europe.

Joses Nawo is expected at Tarxien Rainbows FC as soon as possible.

Joses Nawo is expected at Tarxien Rainbows FC as soon as possible. Photo: Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation

Henderson Eels winger Joses Nawo and Laugu United FC striker Atkin Kaua are expected to start training with the Tarxien Rainbows FC early next month, but are in a race against time chasing $30,000 Solomon dollars ($US3615) each to have their trial secured. If unsuccessful, the invitation from the premier club will be withdrawn.

In a bid to boost funds before the closing date, the airline announced they would sponsor the return flights for Nawo and Kaua between Honiara and Brisbane, decreasing the required funds by about $5000 for both players.

President of the Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation, Paul Driessen, said they were happy and honoured to receive the "warm hearted support," but there was still concern that the players could miss out on an opportunity of a life time.

"The unique nature and golden chance for this country is something worthwhile to support," said Driessen in a statement.

"Solomon Airlines is one of the biggest promoters of it's country and so are Joses and Atkin in terms of football. They might be gate openers for more Solomon talent to play in Europe.

"Solomon Airlines latterly brings the Solomon dream to have the first ever professional football player in Europe a step closer."

The football duo missed their fundraising target a week ago, but their inviting club have shown some Christmas spirit in extending their deadline.

The Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation has since started a crowdfunding campaign. The Gofundme page was set up as a "last resort to make it happen" for Nawo. Another page is expected to be set up for Kaua.