Waitakere United striker Roy Krishna will spend two weeks training with the Wellington Phoenix from Monday May 5; it was announced today in a joint statement by both clubs.
Waitakere United Chairman Rex Dawkins is delighted that a young player of such promise is being given the opportunity by the Phoenix to work with Coach Ricki Herbert and experience life as a fulltime professional in an environment such as the Phoenix can offer.
“Roy is a player of prodigious talent and one we are pleased to have on our books at Waitakere United. It is clear however that he is destined for higher honours and bigger stage in the long term. Our discussions with Ricki and the Phoenix were general in the sense of providing opportunities for promising young players but quickly focused on just that sort of chance for Roy. They are our professional outlet in New Zealand and if we are to promote young players out of the NZFC we must forge strong relationships with them.”
Herbert is looking forward to hosting Krishna in the first of what could be regular opportunities for players in the NZFC.
“As a club we are aware of our responsibilities to the local game and to young players at NZFC clubs. Some may see us as a stepping stone to Europe or bigger leagues, others will see us as the pinnacle and an opportunity to earn a living as a full time player. Either way we have a role to play in the development of football in New Zealand and the region of Oceania.
“We are of course focused on winning and consequently will only look at players who we believe have a shot at a future as a fulltime professional, in this case that player happens to be a young Fijian with great potential, we are happy to work closely with Waitakere United in developing a player of some talent. Obviously I would hope that New Zealand players of similar promise emerge from throughout the country to one day receive the same opportunity.”
Herbert has moved however to immediately quash rumours that Krishna will sign for the Phoenix for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season.
“Roy is not a possible signing for this season, he will merely spend time with us in a professional environment to learn and develop. It will also give me the chance to see him first hand, maybe with an eye to future seasons but not this year. Roy will return and play for Waitakere United in the 2008/09 NZFC.”
Krishna is seen as the best talent to come out of Fiji and indeed Oceania in some years. He was first spotted by well known coach and Oceania football identity Carlos Buzzetti playing in his local village of Labasa on an outlying Fijian island away from the mainland.
Since he has gone on to star for the Fiji U20 side and finish the Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament at Trusts Stadium in 2007 as leading scorer. At age 20 he has already appeared for the Fijian national team and appeals as a long term prospect to play in Europe.
For now though the quietly spoken brilliantly quick striker will enjoy two weeks working with the Phoenix and experiencing life as a professional footballer. He will then return to play out the winter season with Waitakere City before turning out in the next NZFC season for Waitakere United. He is ineligible for Waitakere United’s current O-League campaign, having been signed outside the transfer window for that tournament.
Fiji senior team coach Buzzetti is thinks the world of Krishna’s abilities, as indicated by these comments in an article on FIFA.com last year.
"I have no doubt he can play in Europe," the boss remarked. "He has the right attitude and all the ability. He is small in stature but he is very strong and when he gets hit, he pops straight back up. I think he would be suited to a continental style such as Spain or Italy.
"In South America, Krishna would be in big demand," the Uruguayan boss added.
For now Krishna has high expectations with Waitakere United in the next NZFC but for the next two weeks anyway, he will be a keen devotee of the Wellington Phoenix.
Story courtesy of NZF Media. For more visit www.nzfc.co.nz