Football fans questioned duo’s decision - Solomon Star News

Football fans questioned duo’s decision

30 January 2020
Raphael Le'ai (L) and Leon Kofana (R) have are not returning to Scots College.

FOOTBALL fans and supporters have questioned the decision by Raphael Lea’i and Leon Kofana to turn down another year of scholarship with Scots College in New Zealand.

Both players were scheduled to leave for New Zealand on Tuesday however after much thought they decided to remain with Henderson Eels FC for the upcoming OFC Champions League.

This has brought about a big discussion by football fans and supporters on social media questioning why they opted to remain with Eels.

“The two young lads should make a wise decision towards the offer New Zealand gave.

“What if the trials in Australia as proposed do not turn out as expected?

“They should really think hard about it because they will be missing a golden opportunity that may not come around next time,” they posted on the football forums on social media.

Whilst many have gone against that decision others commended the decision saying they have made the right decision.

A former New Zealand Football Scholarship recipient agreed with the decision not return to New Zealand.

“A one year scholarship is not beneficial for their education. 

“I believe the decision made here is being closely thought through before making.

“We call on the duo to work hard and make the most out of your trials in Australia,” they said.

In response to this, Henderson Eels have made clarification that the decision was made by the duo and not the club.

A statement from the club says Eels have prepared for the duo and have secured trials and also academic opportunities for both players.

“The Henderson Eels Football Club (Eels FC) fully supports Le’ai and Kofana’s decision not to return to Scots College in 2020.

“Eels FC have reached a mutual agreement with the former National U17 representatives to be a part of Henderson Eels FC to participate in the OFC Champions league qualifiers.

“Eels FC have received offers from professional clubs overseas expressing interest in trials for both Le’ai and Kofana.

“We are currently engaged in partnership talks with an intermediary firm to assist with (including but not exclusive to) professional pathways for Le’ai and Kofana.”

Eels FC acknowledged the support of SIFF for both Le’ai and Kofana from the genesis of this project and they look forward to continuing alongside the governing body.

The club also acknowledged Scots College through their scholarship in 2019 which helped develop Leai’s and Kofana’s football capabilities as well as exposure to an equally important academic pathway.