Most players get their sporting start at grassroots level however for Western United goalkeeper Anthony Talo, he didn’t pick up a ball until he was 16 years old.
Although he doesn’t have a long history in football the latecomer to the game developed his skills quickly.
“I naturally fell in love with football when I was 16 years old,” he said.
“Futsal had me first because of the speed and the technique.”
Just two years into his playing career Talo made his international debut in the 2012 OFC Futsal Championship and headed on to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand.
The Western United gloveman is now recognised as one of the top goalkeepers in Solomon Islands.
“Many players believes that goalkeeping is a boring position. But I think it’s a unique position since it’s the player a coach put on his team list first.”
Talo developed from futsal to beach soccer and to 11-a-side football and he sees football as a career opportunity.
“I grew up in the Solomons where people can play any sort of sports and that is where I get my confidence from,” he said.
He earned selection in 2013 to play for the Solomon Islands at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and later joined the national U-19 squad for the 2014 OFC U-20 Championship.
Not to anyone’s surprise, Talo picked up the Golden Glove award at the 2016 OFC Futsal Championship where a clean sweep of the competition saw the Kurukuru claim their spot in the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup.
“I was only 17 when I got selected into Solomon’s national teams for the first time. I handle the pressure in every game and I’m always confident in what I do because I believe in myself,” he said.
“I discipline myself by working hard in trainings and what I do.”
“I learned the mistakes I made in the first game against Auckland City because of the miscommunication with the midfielders.”
Talo is now focusing on the future however and is looking forward to today’s match against Lae City Dwellers.
“I’m looking forward to today’s match as I know it’s going to be tough one, but we need to win to maintain our position in the tournament.”