Earlier this year, striker Trina Davis made history when she signed a contract with ASA Tel-Aviv University Sports Club in Israel to become the first Fijian woman to play professional football.  

At only 16, she made her international senior debut at the OFC Women’s Nations Cup in 2018 where she quickly made her mark with five goals in as many matches.  

The 19-year-old caught up with OFC Media about her journey so far.   

You’re the first Fijian female to play professional football, has the moment sunk in yet?   

When I first signed my contract I wasn’t aware I was the first Fijian woman to go professional until I got to the airport in New York on my way to TelAviv, I was honoured.  

I saw a lot of [social media] posts on how I’m an inspiration and it was a surreal feeling, thinking about it makes me emotional.  

I feel privileged to have this accomplishment, it hasn’t sunk in yet; it’s crazy to even have you approach me and ask this, it really is something big.  

Your family must be proud, how did they react to the good news?  

I haven’t been able to physically see my family since I signed but I was on FaceTime with my mum and she was proud.  

I can’t wait to tell them in person, especially my parents and sister in Seattle. They’ve been supportive of me since day one and have reminded me of my purpose. 

It’s a huge blessing that I will cherish forever.   

How has the transition treated you been between America, Fiji and Israel? 

I have finally started to settle here in TelAviv and there have been some challenges. Everything is in Hebrew and it can be difficult to understand but google translator has been a lifesaver!  

The culture is going to be different everywhere I go but the transition reminds me of my experience in Fiji. I love all the street food and markets here it’s been awesome so far  

Your Fiji debut was incredible against Vanuatu at the OFC Women’s Nations Cup, what do you recall from that match?  

To be there so young and have the opportunity to play in an OFC qualifier was an honour in itself.  

I didn’t expect to score a hattrick in my first game, but I knew I had to do something to show I was good enough to be there. I also didn’t want to let Fiji down especially coach Christophe Gamel, I wanted to show him my value as an athlete.  

I had a bet with my dad to score at least one goal while I was there, and I was very happy I exceeded that within the first game. It was even better performing in front of my family in the stands and in our homeland.   

My mum was behind my motivation to represent Fiji as she never had the opportunity growing up, so when I did, I felt like our prayers were answered.   

I want Fiji FA to know that I was very grateful for everything they did for me. I got to play soccer in Fiji in front of my family, it was a dream come true.

Fiji’s Trina Davis. Photo Credit: Shane Wenzlick at www.phototek.nz.

Have you experienced any challenges along the way? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?  

Yes, I have faced many challenges along the way but it’s how you overcome them. For me being alone and far from my family can be difficult but knowing they care for me is what I remind myself of when I feel down.  

My mental wellbeing is important to me, I stay positive and pray to be strong  

Life is a journey I must appreciate every day that comes with it to make me a better person, athlete, teammate and friend.  

You’re a representative of Oceania, have you had time to reflect on your progress so far?  

I feel like we’ve made a lot of sacrifices to be here, I say we because it includes the assistance of my family getting me to tournaments and the encouragement I have received by my coaches who have pushed me to be the best I can 

Looking ahead I want to help Fiji make the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. I know there’s a great chance for us and for me personally, I want to get better and stronger for what’s to come. 

Trina Davis scores her first professional goal. Photo Credit: @MoshikOshri