Oceania Football Confederation > News > Samoa > Father John bids farewell

Father John bids farewell

Father John Walenciej SDB – Don Bosco has worked in Samoa for the last 15 years, seven of which have been at the Parish of Saint Michael’s church in the village of Leauvaa.
He has been instrumental throughout that time in helping young people get involved with football.
“I was a football person from the early days of my life in Poland,” he says.
“When I came to Samoa I saw how much the people here enjoyed sports and, as a result, I viewed this as an opportunity for the young people of Leauvaa to learn and enjoy the sport of football.”
Father John is sad to be leaving a country he has become so fond of but feels the time is right and wants to be closer to his elderly mother.
“I have spent a third of my life in Samoa and it is not easy to leave the place,” he says.
“But I know that we cannot live and work in one place forever. Also, my mum back in Poland is 84 and I want to pay my dues and spend some time with her.”
Father John says he has been given great joy by watching the youngsters of his village play football on the reclaimed land situated behind his house. This land was reclaimed with the support of the village and various donors.
The Leauvaa U-15 boy’s team has use of the field and Father John believes the facility is one of the keys to the side’s success.
Leauvaa currently lead the 2010/11 SamoaTel U-15 standings after posting 10 wins and a loss from their 11 games. Father John has taken great pride in organising and managing the team and has been a constant presence on the sidelines, barking out instructions to his players in Samoan.
“I hope that a few boys from Leauvaa can one day qualify and play for the senior national team,” Father John says. “This would bring great joy to the parents, matais, churches and the whole village.”
Football Federation Samoa CEO Fred Young expressed his thanks for the support Father John has given football in the nation over the past 15 years.
“I want to thank Father John for his great contribution to football in Samoa,” he says. “We here at the federation are saddened to see him leave and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”
For more on Samoan football go to www.footballsamoa.ws

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