Just two years ago he was playing high school football but fast-forward to 2019, Junior David is living his dream of representing his country at international level.
Originally from Simbo in the Western province of the Solomon Islands, David started playing football in school football leagues.
“I started my football career since primary school playing small games in school,” he said.
“I joined the Noro Primary School, from there I took my football career to secondary level and then came to Honiara where I started to play in the big leagues, the HFA Premier and S-League which led to exposure outside of the country”.
David caught the eyes of national selectors at the 2017 Youth Solomon Cup with the Western province.
He went on to make his first Oceania appearance at the 2018 OFC Men’s U-19 Championship in Tahiti where the Solomon Islands missed out on a World Cup spot after a semi-final defeat to the hosts.
The 18-year-old signed with S-League side Marist FC before moving to Hekari FC where he attained valuable experience.
“I think the experience I got from playing in PNG enables me to learn from experienced players and coaches,” he explained.
“I mean you get the chance to play against an experienced opponent from the PNG league.
“Coming to join the national U-23, playing in Papua New Guinea gives me the confidence to play at the international level”.
The right-back believes this side can build on the positives taken from their three group matches, particularly the performance displayed against New Zealand.
“Recalling back on our three matches, I think the boys did well, teamwork in the field is good especially the game against New Zealand,” David said.
“I think even though we experienced a lot of pressure, our teamwork enabled us to get through.
“Thou we didn’t win the game, we were happy with how we played”.
Next for David and company is wantoks clash with Vanuatu in the last four.
“We are hoping to give a good game in the semi-final,” he said.
“I think the game in the semi-final will be tough for us but we have prepared for it and look forward to the game.
“We will give our best in the field and we have to work on our weaknesses in our previous games, we hope to give Vanuatu a good game,” added the Solomon Islands defender.