HE’S been playing football for over 10 years, representing the country in tournaments abroad and locally.
Now it’s time for him to take the next trail into his football career.
Semi-Professional Footballer Henry Fa’arodo Junior has just recently been signed up to join Hamilton Wanderers FC in New Zealand for the New Zealand National League and also to continue pursuing his coaching career.
Henry who hails from Malaita Province and who had recently stepped down as head coach of Telekom Soccer League, TSL Champions Solomon Warriors, was excited to take the next path in his football career and that’s coaching.
“I think the next step for me as a footballer would be going into a coaching career and that would be a step up for me from playing on the field,” he told Paoa FM’s Change Maker’s Program.
Football has been a part of Henry’s life since childhood.
He was introduced to the game by his father Luito’o Fa’arodo who was a top footballer himself playing for Rangers FC, a Solomon Islands football club.
“Growing up he was like my mentor, I always tagged along with my dad to all his training and games when he was coaching or playing,” Henry recalled.
“I was like the club ‘mascot’. I got to share every moment in all their triumphs and defeats.”
Full of surprises and excitement was his journey in football.
It was also a learning experience for Henry as he gets to meet and play alongside some top local and international footballers and making life-long football family ties.
“I am so lucky and grateful for the journey I have had so far.”
Henry has the opportunity and privilege of meeting two international football players in the likes of David Beckham and Edgar Davids.
“I was star-struck when meeting them.
“I get to play with them on the field at an open exhibition and also signing my first professional football contract.
“Those were a few of my favorite highlights in my football career.”
Growing up, Henry took inspiration from watching a lot of football games.
“As I grow older my inspirations become more specific.
“I started to find inspiration in personalities that I share the same interest and passion with.
“I remember when I was in high school (Selwyn College) I love Ronaldo the Brazilian.
“He was my inspiration.
“As I get older, I find inspiration in reading, watching and learning more about my passion through other individual experiences and their life’s journey.
“I also start to find inspiration through life coaches, teaching about life and understanding life”.
According to Henry, to be a good and better footballer you have to be committed, dedicated and have personal goals to achieve as this also applies to other walks of life.
“I love football, there’s no better feeling than when you put a smile on someone’s face, when you made someone's day better, when you make a difference in someone’s life, just by playing the ‘beautiful game’.
“I see with this passion whether it be sport, work or study it can truly change how we can work and live to make a difference in people’s lives.
“I believe some people just need inspiration, to believe that they too can achieve whatever they desire.”
Being a footballer comes with its challenges especially when you are abroad away from family.
“I tried to adapt to the new environment around me, the culture, the food but as time passed I learned to motivate myself to overcome the challenges.
“I’m grateful for my family in supporting me throughout my career.
“I have the most understanding family who stood by me despite our years apart.”
And now as Henry is heading towards his pathway in his football career, a coaching career, he has three principles to help him overcome his challenges as a coach.
“Self-esteem, self-discipline, and self-motivation.
“With these, I can overcome whatever challenges I face.
“I would like to advise the youths that to be successful, be it in sport, studies or work you got to have the right attitude.
“I have been reading a book about Manchester city's manager/coach and there’s advice or principle he put for his players and that is ‘Performance is not negotiable’.”
Henry Fa’arodo has left the country with his family to New Zealand to further his next step in his football career.
He would like to leave a message for young people.
“I have learnt the hard way to make a change or any change you have to change yourself.
“How can you change someone or a country when you cannot change yourself?”
• Tune in to Paoa FM for the change Maker’s Program at 9 am, 2 pm and 8 pm, every Monday.