Charles Mani in Year 11 doubles as a student at Long Bay College and a legendary Football player. He joined our school in Term Two on a scholarship from his country, the Solomon Islands. Back home he is the captain of the U17 Football team which has become the very first Football team from the Solomons, at any level, to qualify for a Football World Cup.
It’s a fantastic achievement that will see Charles’ team travel to Brazil in October to compete in their first World Cup match against Italy.
Playing on the world stage brings feelings of nervousness and excitement for Charles but he is thrilled to be fulfilling his lifelong dream of competing against a team from a strong Football nation, like Italy. “It’s very exciting for the team and our country,” he said.
Charles’ first match against Italy will be held on October 29 in Brasilia and will be live SKY.
The World Cup is held every two years. In the qualifiers, the Solomon Boys U17 team beat New Zealand five nil.
This year, Charles has been the main striker for Long Bay College’s 1st XV Boys Football team. He scored a whopping 21 goals across 12 games during the season. He also trains with the Glenfield Premier Men’s team which provides him with some great coaching and challenging experiences ahead of his World Cup trip.
Charles will be heading to the Solomon’s soon to reconnect with his team before heading to South America but he will be back to New Zealand. He has earned another scholarship for next year and has enjoyed the opportunities that living in Auckland and attending Long Bay College has brought him.