Eastern Suburbs skipper Adam Thomas can’t wait to lead his side in the club’s first ever OFC Champions League match against Papua New Guinea giants Hekari United as Group A gets underway on Sunday at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise stadium.

“It’s huge honour to represent a club like Eastern Suburbs with their work ethic, values  and philosophy, it’s very humbling and I’m very honoured to lead the club,” he enthused.

The 27-year-old midfielder from Waikato in New Zealand, who represented his country at the 2009 U-17 World Cup FIFA in Nigeria and at the 2012 London Olympics, had to overcome a string of serious injuries including knee, hip and ankle troubles that kept him sidelined between 2012 and 2018, in order to force his way back to the top level.

It’s a testament to his never-say-die attitude and both mental and physical strength that Thomas will mark his club’s historic debut in Oceania by wearing the captain’s armband.

Drawn into a tough Pool with local favourites and 2010 champions Hekari United, defending champions Hienghene Sport from New Caledonia and fellow newcomers Galaxy FC from Vanuatu, Thomas is well aware of the task ahead of him and his team.

However, with Eastern Suburbs running into some good form in their New Zealand domestic league recently, the Eastern Suburbs skipper is excited about his side’s qualification prospects.

“The coaching staff have done their research and we will be well prepared for each team. We plan to win the group, we think we have the squad to do it, we’ve had a mix run so far back in New Zealand but we are improving,  and we are planning on taking out top spot,” Thomas insisted.

Eastern Suburbs will face hosts Hekari United in Sunday’s opening match day in Group A at 3pm (local time) at Port Moresby’s Sir John Guise Stadium.

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