Photo Credit: FCF

The OFC Men’s Champions League 2024 is just days away and today we take a look at the New Caledonia representative and 2019 finalists, AS Magenta.

2024 marks the first time that AS Magenta will be taking part in an OFC Men’s Champions League since their memorable run in 2019. Then, the New Caledonians registered a famous semi-final victory over Auckland City FC, before narrowly missing out on the title following a 1-0 defeat to compatriots Hienghène Sport in Nouméa.

It was the second time that the side had made an OFC final – during the OFC Club Championship era they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Sydney FC in 2005.

Head Coach Pierre Wajoka is one of the greatest players to come out of New Caledonia. The former striker wore the number 10 journey and is often compared to Zinedine Zidane in his homeland.

Wajoka represented AS Magenta during his illustrious playing career and has been coaching the side for the past two seasons. He led them to a tense victory over ASC Gaica over two legs in their National Playoff in February, winning the first leg 2-1 before playing out a nail-biting goalless draw in the return fixture a week later.

Magenta’s Pierre Wajoka gets to the ball ahead of Nadi’s Ame Votoniu. OFC Champions League 2016 Group Stage, Nadi FA v AS Magenta, QBE Stadium, Auckland, Friday 15th April 2016. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

Since then, AS Magenta have had an extensive preparation for the OFC Men’s Champions League, with the Premier League in full swing in New Caledonia. The champions sit third on the table behind last year’s Champions League representative Tiga Sport and ASC Gaica, with eight wins, four draws and only two defeats from their opening 14 fixtures.

“The preparation doesn’t change. We continue to work on several aspects and we will be trying to go and have a good tournament. Let the boys have fun first and foremost,” Wajoka said.

AS Magenta team have been drawn into Group A alongside host nation Tahiti’s entry AS Pirae, Vanuatu’s Ifira Black Bird FC and OFC Men’s Champions League – Qualifying tournament winner Vaivase-tai FC of Samoa.

New Caledonia’s coach Pierre Wajoka. OFC U-19 Championship 2022, Semi Final, Fiji v New Caledonia, Stade Pater, Papeete, Tahiti, Wednesday 21st September 2022. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

Wajoka has done his homework on their group stage opponents but is keeping his cards close to his chest and not raising expectations.

“We don’t underestimate anyone – we stay focused on the goal. The teams are champions of their countries, so let’s be careful,” he added.

Player to Watch

Striker Germain Hawegene will be a key figure in Tahiti for AS Magenta. The talisman tops the scoring charts in the Premier League with 11 goals in eight matches and will be looking to take that form into the New Caledonians’ campaign, when they kick off against Vanuatu’s Ifira Black Bird in their opening match.