Teretia Teinaki started kicking a football when she was 10 years old, introduced to the game during a school competition.

She joined local club Takuvaine Tutakimoa FC for her formative years before joining local champion club Tupapa Maraerenga in 2018.

Since her first call-up to the Cook Islands U-17 in 2017, Teinaki has played across every age group, including eight senior appearances at both Women’s World Cup qualifying and the Pacific Games.

When she moved to New Zealand to study Sport and Recreation at AUT University, the defender joined Manukau United becoming central to the club’s strength at the back.

Previously an intern with OFC Social Responsibility department, the 19-year-old hopes to return to the Cook Islands following her graduation with the hopes of putting her learning into action helping her local community.

After graduating from university, I’m hoping to return home and share my knowledge with my people.