Jarvis Filimalae has designs on making a living out of football.
The 16-year-old is the youngest member of Lupe Ole Soaga SC’s squad for the Qualifying Stage of the OFC Champions League 2020.
Samoa’s Lupe are searching for a spot in the group stages of the competition and got their campaign off to the right start with a 2-0 win over Veitongo FC in Auckland on Saturday.
Filimalae started the game as a right midfielder and showed some pace down the flank before he was substituted late in the match.
Playing at this level is another step in the teenager’s education in the sport.
“My goal in football is to try and be a professional,” he said.
Filimalae attends Hastings Boys’ High School in the Hawke’s Bay on a scholarship and is entering year 12.
Aside from playing for his school, he also represents Havelock North Wanderers AFC.
Growing up, Filimalae’s father was a football referee, which is how the youngster got his start in the game.
“He came home and brought a soccer ball and that’s when I started, when I was 7, and I’ve never stopped playing.”
As for the Qualifying Stage, Filimalae had no worries about mixing it with older teammates and opponents.
“My goal is just contributing in the team and I need to score and create more scoring opportunities to be able to win the game.”
During Lupe’s win over Veitongo, it was Filimalae’s assist that laid on the opening goal for Matthew Chant.
Filimalae’s team will be after similar service when they play Cook Islands club Tupapa Maraerenga FC at the Ngahue Reserve in Auckland on Tuesday as they try to secure a place in the OFC Champions League 2020.