Oceania Football Confederation > News > 2016 OFC Champions League > Mateinaqara dons the gloves once more

Mateinaqara dons the gloves once more

Now he’s once again donning the gloves this time for his new club Suva hoping to help them out of the group stage and also cement himself a spot in the Fiji national team ahead of the 2016 OFC Nations Cup.
If he’s hoping to impress he’s made a good start.
Suva went down 2-0 to Team Wellington in their opening match at the region’s premier international club competition and Mateinaqara is just one reason why that score line wasn’t more lopsided.
The gloveman has appeared in the last two editions of the Champions League, first for his home district Nadi before heading over to Papua New Guinea for a season with former champions Hekari United.
On both occasions he was impressive, but seeing him in action against the 2015 runners-up from New Zealand’s capital city was something else.
“I’ve been playing striker since I was back in Nadi and I thought this year I’d try and get back into my goalkeeping position with Suva,” he says.
As for how he ever found himself up front, it’s merely a matter of numbers.
“We had another keeper at Nadi, he was my second, and I wanted to give him a chance because age is catching up. Then I decided to leave for here because there’s another two keepers who need a chance too.”
Preventing goals is clearly second nature to Mateinaqara who admits his opening heroics aren’t as memorable for him as they were for those watching.
“I was just excited and when they took shots on goal I just kind of thought ‘how did I stop that?’
“They’re an experienced side, Team Wellington, so it was a good feeling to do well against them.”
Mateinaqara says Suva had really hoped to give something back to the poeple of Fiji with a win, given there has been so much devastation and loss following two tropical cyclones this year.
“It was a bit disappointing that we couldn’t do more but we will keep doing our best.”
As for aspirations for PNG he says it’s something that remains at the back of his mind but his focus right now is the OFC Champions League.
“The senior team for the OFC Nations Cup has been in camp and I’ve been named in the wider squad. I would love to go to Papua New Guinea but there are some other keepers who also want to go so we will see.
“I’m here to get back my touch and do well and hopefully after this people will see may back for the OFC Nations Cup.”

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