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Loss of promising player mourned

The Fédération Calédonienne de Football staff members were saddened to hear of his passing and wish to pass on their condolences to his family and friends.
Nicknamed Hnojy, the 22-year-old was a striker with explosive speed and good technical skills. Despite his tender years, Wahnyamalla was already a key player for his Lössi club in the Super League and was also a rising star within the national team set-up.
He made a name for himself under the tutelage of Didier Chambaron, now part of the OFC technical department, in the national U-20 team and was named by senior national squad coach Christophe Coursimault in the pre-selection training group for the South Pacific Games, set to be held in Noumea during August and September.
One of the highlights of his short career occured in 2008 when the New Caledonia U-20 side took on their Tahiti counterparts in a jubilee match for Papeete-born former French international Pascal Vahirua.
‘Hnojy’ shone to such a degree throughout the game that Antoine Kombouare, a New Caledonian who was then coaching at French League 1 side Valenciennes, offered him the chance to try his luck in France.
Wahnyamalla turned down the offer because he wanted to remain in New Caledonia and focus on his studies. In that same match, he also caught the eye of former France manager Aimé Jacquet and ex-international Laurent Blanc, who both praised his talents.
His former coach Chambaron has been deelpy affected by the loss of Wahnyamalla and he says the young star’s impressive skills on the field were matched by the way he conducted himself off it.
“His death is a great loss for us all,” Chambaron says. “He had imprssed Antoine Kombouare, Aimé Jacquet and Laurent Blanc. But most of all he was someone nice and friendly.
“He reflected the real potential of the New Caledonia youth and was one of the players who made me love New Caledonia.”
Those feelings are shared by Federation Caledonniene de Football CEO Olivier Dokunengo.
“Jean was a nice, good and easy going person,” Dokunengo says.

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