The recent news of Solomon Islands inspirational national futsal team captain, Elliot Ragomo has delighted a lot of Solomon Islanders, especially futsal fans.
From a humble beginning to being a professional, the journey of Ragomo is simply inspirational for many young upcoming Solomon Islands futsal players.
The small island nation of Solomon Islands has continued to produce incredible football players, especially futsal players.
Ragomo who is now a professional futsal player is a pioneer of the futsal game and his success was traced back to many dynamics and one of the most recent of them was the work and commitment rendered by two incredible individuals who have the heart for Solomon Islands to excel in this sport.
Solomon Islands former national Futsal head coach and current Marist FC head coach, Juliano Antonio Schmeling is the coach behind Elliot’s success.
His connections were impeccable and his coaching abilities not only helped Ragomo but many other Solomon Islands futsal players.
The support by Yoshiyuki Sato especially in the management and financial side of things has positively contributed to Elliot’s path to success. Together these two great men have worked positively impacted on Ragomo’s journey beyond the Pacific.
In an exclusive interview with Juliano Antonio Schmeling, the Brazilian has stressed some important points that contributed to Elliot’s amazing success story.
What type of player is Ragomo?
Well, what makes Elliot different from many players or people in Solomon Islands is his mental strength, his leadership, and commitment to his dreams. It is not easy when playing against the best players in the world, especially in the World Cup level but Elliot has the mental strength to do this.
He has become strong through his life experiences. He is not a perfect person because he has certainly made his own mistakes. However, it is the way Elliot has chosen to correct his mistakes and has chosen to make himself a better person that made me realize he is the right person to send overseas.
He is a good character and has become a strong leader. We need more leaders like Elliot. He is determined, hard working and committed person who never gives up on his dreams no matter what life throws at him.
In the light of Elliot’s success, there have been many positive contributing factors to his success but most recently is the contribution from Yoshiyuki Sato and yourself. How did it happen?
There have been some key people who have supported Elliot throughout his life which got him to a certain point in his futsal career but then he couldn’t go any further. Many people know Elliot’s potential to be successful at this level but the reality of getting him beyond the Pacific was always difficult without him having the right connections and sponsorship. These critical components came together when Yoshi Sato and I met in 2012 during the period which I came to Solomon Islands to prepare Kurukuru for the Thailand Futsal World Cup. After that world cup, it was Yoshi who believed in me as a coach. He believed I was the right person to help Kurukuru with my love for the people and my professional experience in Brazil. Yohsi personally brought me back to Solomon Islands to help Kurukuru in 2013 and 2014 and then gave me the opportunity to become the head coach of Marist which kept me close to Elliot. Together with Yoshi’s love for his country, Elliot’s talent and my professional experience and connections, we were able to make this successful story happened. We don’t want to stop here. We want to do the same for more potential players in Solomon Islands.
What are your hopes for Solomon Islands futsal?
It is quite simple. With professionalism and organization I have a lot of hope for Solomon Islands futsal. This country is a country with so much potential. It has many talented players so my hopes are for an international futsal stadium, a national futsal league, international futsal competitions and more futsal clubs. If we can make it to three futsal world cups with none of these, just imagine what impact we can do at a world cup level with all these things in place!
What would be your best advice for Solomon Islands upcoming futsal players?
Stay away from alcohol, smoking, drugs, and betel nuts. If you want to have any real success in futsal or in any areas of your life, commit to achieving your dreams through hard work, determination and having a good attitude. Don’t take the easy road because success comes from hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. When you become successful you become a role model for your people, so be the best person you can be, be honest, have a good attitude so you can be proud of yourself and led others in a positive way.
Finally, what are your congratulatory words for Elliot?
I have congratulated Elliot many times and he knows that I’m very happy for him. I reminded him to keep working hard because he has more challenges ahead. It doesn’t just stop for Elliot now that he has made his first success, he must keep going.
The hard work for you is just beginning Elliot but we believe in you. You can make more success happen if you keep working hard and be a good person. Go for it, reach for the stars and never look back. We know you can do it! Show the people it is possible and lead the way towards making history for Solomon Islands.
The Solomon Islands first professional futsal player wasted no time in his first debut game by scoring a goal for his professional club in a victory over the weekend. Elliot stole the ball from the opponent and delivered a spectacular goal which was fitting to his first game as a professional futsal player. Indeed, a player who is determined to succeed even when the odds are against him.
By Alex Waimora
In Auckland, NZ