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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Expectations dashed for SI Futsal player: Spain offer withdrawn

By Francis Pituvaka

A Solomon Islands Futsal player who initially was offered a four months trial by a Spanish club - Playas de Castellion will return home today. Jack Whetney, 16, along with Elliot Ragomo another Solomon Islander received offers from the Spanish club following a five weeks tour of Italy and Spain in June/July 2006.

Both were supposed to travel to Spain on Sunday along with another Australian Tobias Seeto (18 years) however, from report received from Durals Sport and Leisure Centre's Tony Chan, Whetney's offer was withdrawn so he will return home today.

In explaining Jack's withdrawal, Chan says this has nothing to do with his quality as player. "In no way whatsoever was the offer withdrawn because Jack was not good enough as a player. Jack's skill levels and talent are still valued by the club, and he does actually have the talent to become a professional Futsal player. All clubs in Spain, including Playas de Castellon, can only sign a certain number of foreign players, and unfortunately, Playas de Castellon has reached that quota, and only has one spot left. So they have chosen to take Elliot, and not Jack. (Tobias Seeto is an EU citizen, so his status does not matter)", says Chan when explaining why Whetney has to return home.

Dural Sport and Leisure Centre offered two scholarships in 2005 for young futsal players and Lilo and Whetney were the first recipients. Their scholarships lapsed last month.

Chan says Dural Sports has also received offers from Italy for Tobias, Elliot and Jack however, there are very tough restrictions in Italy on foreign players, and unfortunately, none of the three could qualify to play in Italy. He points out that the regulations should be changed in 18 month's time "but that is too late for these boys."

Meanwhile, the Solomon Island Football Federation welcomes Jack's return and believes that his experience from the Europe tour will be shared with the many more fustal players in the country. SIFF is also considering Jack for the national Under 17 squad which will be called to begin training for the Oceania Under 17 Qualifying competition in Tahiti in March 2007 shortly.

Source: SIFF


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