Fiji’s leading scorer at the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier dedicates every goal he scores to his beloved father, who recently passed away.
Rising midfielder Patrick Joseph, who holds the Vodafone Fiji FACT 2019 player of the tournament award for his performances for Nadi FC, credits his family and the love for his country for all his achievements to date.
And the humble and soft-spoken 21-year-old, who has distinguished himself as the most prolific finisher for Marika Rodu’s U-23 side, would like nothing more than a special fan in the stands watching over him.
“I couldn’t be with the team for some weeks, my father passed away, so I trained alone to maintain the level needed, and every game I played I did my best, scoring goals too and I’m looking forward to the semi-finals to do my best.
“Every goal I score I always dedicate them to him, if he was still here, he would have come and watch my games and I will do my best for the country and him,” he said.
Since the very beginning, family has always been at the centre of Joseph’s football journey.
“Back in primary school, and every school I went I found football because I was interested in it and also my brother was a player as well and I’ve learned a lot of things from him, but he couldn’t make it so I’m doing my best for both of us.
A proud Fijian, Joseph believes there is a genuine pathway for real talent from the Pacific Islands, and he singles out Fiji’s greatest football export Roy Krishna as inspiration.
“We were together at the Pacific Games and he showed us a lot of things.
“He showed that anyone can be like him, it’s possible, we’ve learned a lot of things from him and I want to be like him one day,” Joseph added.
Ahead of his side’s tough semi against New Zealand, the Fijian midfielder is maintaining his positive outlook as well as holding onto his dream of emulating the achievement of his footballing hero.
“I want to go and play overseas, I’d love to join a good club, I’m working hard for it, and I know I will, I’ll do my best,” he said.
“Olympic qualification would be a dream, and I’m really working hard for it, it would be a good experience and I’d really love to go and play there.
“My boys are ready, we are all ready and we are looking forward to it, we know they are a good side, but we will do our best for our country because it is out home ground, and we will do our best,” Joseph insisted.