Phillip Mango is determined to spread the gospel of goalkeeping in the Solomon Islands.
The former national team representative works full-time as the Goalkeeping Development Officer for the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF).
Recently he hosted a three-day course in Honiara to upskill 21 goalkeeping coaches from various Member Associations in the Solomons.
“All of the participants were able to learn about the role of the goalkeeper coach and goalkeeper,” Mango said.
“This course really helped the participants to expand their knowledge about being a goalkeeper coach and hopefully it will increase the number of goalkeepers in the Solomon Islands.
“I was also happy to see female goalkeeper coaches make themselves available to attend the course, which is really good for women’s football in the Solomon Islands.”
His next step is to provide further opportunities for goalkeepers and goalkeeping coaches to develop in other parts of the country.
Mango will turn 25 this week and he first played for the Solomon Islands national team in 2016 and has collected more than 20 international caps.
He also represented the Solomons at youth level and was a member of the Kurukuru squad that went to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2016; his is currently focused on playing at club level with Central Coast FC and working in his role with SIFF.
“My goalkeeping training vision for the Solomon Islands is to work closely with the good people who are willing and have the passion to develop this programme of goalkeeping in our country,” he said.
“By doing this it will increase the quality of goalkeepers in the country.”
In June, Mango travelled to Malaita to run courses for goalkeeping coaches in various villages in the southern part of the province.
His week-long journey took him to three different schools and the prospective goalkeeping coaches were given theory and practical sessions.
After spending time in the classroom, they went outdoors and were able to pass on some of their newly found knowledge to eager junior, youth and senior footballers.
“What inspired me about the trip to Malaita is that, it was time for me to give back to the younger generation of Solomon Islanders, in terms of educating the coaches and training the young goalkeepers to fully achieve their goals.
“It was the best trip ever for me because I could tell that the communities and villages really enjoyed the goalkeeping sessions.”
Mango and his coaches even struck torrential rain in the Ta’aru Village, but it didn’t stop them.
OFC Goalkeeping Development Consultant James Bannatyne said he was proud of Mango’s recent work.
“I’ve known Phillip since we met at a goalkeeping course in 2012 and it has been great to watch him grow during the past eight years. The impact Phillip can have in the Solomon Islands to improve goalkeeping is significant,” Bannatyne said.
“Phillip is one of several new appointments to our OFC goalkeeping development team, which is very encouraging. Phillip has made a very good start to the large body of work required in this area, both in the Solomon Islands and our other Member Associations.
“He is committed to passing on the knowledge he has gathered through his playing career and is regularly looking for opportunities to develop his coaching knowledge.”