Oceania Champions league

Samoa football champs battling odds to play in Champions League

Lupe Ole Soaga qualified for the region's premier football club tournament, being held in Vanuatu, from a qualifying event held in Apia, Samoa in February.

But up to 12 players from that series will miss the finals due to registration rules.

Team manager Lai Tautiaga explained why.

"There are quite a few issues which surfaced this year. And it's our first time to be informed of such regulations. But we have players who we thought that the qualifying round was sufficient for them to attend the finals; however, it was a different story.

Samoa’s Lupe o le Soaga ready for Oceania Champions League

The 22 players and six management left for Auckland on Monday night, where they will play Tongan club Veitongo on Saturday and Cook Islands club Tupapa Maraerenga the following Tuesday.

Forward Jarvis Filimalae from Vaiala certainly fits into the former category.

The 16-year-old attends Hastings Boys’ High School in New Zealand on a football scholarship facilitated by the Football Federation of Samoa.

He made his national team debut last year ahead of Samoa’s Pacific Games campaign on home soil.

“It was a good experience, high level high standard.”

Foster to boost team's Oceania league dream

The PNG Kapuls captain spent whole of last year playing in Australia and is now ready to help his home side at the Champions League.

Michael Foster is a household soccer name in Madang and he spent whole of last year in Australia playing with Geelong Football club with countryman Hillary Harry Jenkins, before joining Malaita Kingz of Solomon Islands towards the end of 2017.

Foster brings with him a formidable international record of 32 games and seven goals.