Oceania is becoming a goldmine for clubs looking for the next big star. With Vanuatu’s recent success at the U20 World Cup the world has started to take not of the players in this Continent. With this in mind I have decided to bring 6 talents from this unique and interesting continent to your attention. The reason it is 6 as I hope to do the same article with all 6 footballing continents in the world.
Holland is always a great place for young players to go to further develop their careers and in the case of Papua New Guinea international, David Browne that might be true. The 21-Year-Old is a recent signing for FC Groningen and will hope to impress like he did back in his Auckland City days. During his time at the New Zealand giants Browne racked up 15 goals and 8 assists in just 18 starts and picked up numerous trophies as awards including Auckland City’s young player of the year award in 2015. Going into his 2nd year in Holland, David Browne will look to kick on in his career in the hopes of breaking into the Groningen first team and who knows we may see him playing at a higher level sooner rather than later.
Dane Ingham turned heads for the New Zealand national team at the recent Confederations cup when he became the second youngest player to compete in this tournament. The wing back’s great form for his nation granted him a new contract for his side Brisbane Roar. With this in mind it looks likely that Ingham will be a part of the Australian sides plan’s for the upcoming season which he most definitely deserves. With great potential it is not guaranteed that he will be a starter for his side but we know for certain that he will be a big part of the New Zealand national team for years to come.
Ronaldo Wilkins was part of the Vanuatu U20 side which exceeded expectations and became national heroes. The 17-Year-Old played a key role for his nation as he featured in all 3 games at the competition, scoring 1 and assisting 1. He was recognised by many media outlets to be a star at the tournament and the credit he is given is most definitely deserved. The midfielder currently plys his trade in Vanuatu with the side Sia-Raga FC but with the exposure he got at the U20 World Cup I would like to think that will all change soon as the talent is there.
New Zealand had a host of young talent in their side at the Confederations cup and although the did not set the competition alight they made their case for Oceanic football known. Clayton Lewis was one of those who stood out for the Kiwi’s when he played 2 of New Zealand’s 3 games at the competition in which he assisted one in a 2-1 defeat to Mexico. For his club side Auckland City Clayton Lewis has been even better. The 20-Year-Old had a return of 8 goals and 4 assists in just 16 starts in all competitions for a side who won their domestic league. The midfielder is one who has the potential and now with the exposure he got at the Confederations cup I wouldn’t be surprised if clubs are keeping a close eye on his progress.
Yet another player from Vanuatu, Tony Kaltack has been in sensational form for his side Erakor Golden Star in Vanutau’s top flight. The 20-Year-Old has netted 5 goals in 3 starts in the OFC Champions League which includes 2 braces against AS Tafea of Tahiti and Marist of the Solomon Islands. He also showed his tremendous ability against Ifira Black Bird to score a mesmerising volley. His form doesnt end for his club as his performances for his nation across all age groups has been nothing short of brilliant. With a combined total of 10 goals in 14 games across all age groups you have to give credit where it is due. With Tony Kaltack it is not a matter of if it is more when in regards to getting picked up by a bigger club and I have no doubt that the clubs will come calling after his superb performances in the continental campaign.
Another player who may not be a household name amongst football fans anywhere outside of Oceania, Barthy Kerobin has been making a name for himself in his nation of Papua New Guinea. The 16-Year-Old has 7 goals for Madang FC in the top flight of Papua New Guinea. For his national side he has also been catching the eyes of many. At the recent U17 OFC Championship Kerobin scored 4 goals in 3 starts which included 1 against the champions of the competition New Zealand. This return for someone who is just 16 is insane and just shows how talented the boy is. Hopefully someone around the world will realise it too and will snap up this gem of a player.