Vanuatu forward Jonathan Spokeyjack got his start in football as a nine-year-old with Amicale joining in on the OFC Just Play Programme.
Fast-forward several years and he was making his debut for his country at the 2015 OFC U-17 Championship in American Samoa.
He’s gone on to play in a U-20 qualifier, the Pacific Mini Games, the Pacific Games, the OFC Champions League, the FIFA U-20 World Cup and now the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier.
Not bad for someone who is still two months shy of his 21st birthday.
While there is plenty for him to reminisce about, Spokeyjack is focusing on one thing; helping Vanuatu qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
“I am happy for the win today especially helping my team to score a goal,” Spokeyjack said.
“The match was tough but we obeyed what the coach advised us to do and we continue to take every match as a final.
“Our target is to qualify for the Olympic Games and create further history for Vanuatu football like we did in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2017.”
The Galaxy FC midfielder believes the team’s foundation is strong given the players have spent a lot of time together over the past few years.
“I am glad to be part of this U-23 team, most of us played together in South Korea for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and what we did there together has helped us in this Olympic qualifier.”
He added that the success they’ve had in the past certainly helps with their confidence today.
“Our focus now is our last group match with Fiji and there’s few areas that we need to improve on before facing them.
“Fiji is not an easy-beat team therefore we have to give our best to beat them,” Spokeyjack concluded.