To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Simplicity; an art Benjamin Totori perfected- Solowaterboy blog

Special article by Solowaterboy blog Honiara

Benjamin Totori has always been a footballer with an uncanny ability to succeed at the very highest level. All throughout his career, he has been a shining and most vivid example of how young people can transform their lives when driven by unparralled ambitions. Its a trait I fiercely admire. My blog is proud to announce that this young man will now ply his trade with the Portland Timbers in the United States. Pending international and USSL clearance, Benjamin will have a remarkable opportunity to make his dreams come true. It remains to be seen if Totori will succeed at this level but judging from his past experience, nothing will stop him from achieving his ultimate goal.

How monumental is this achievement? Considering the fact that Benjamin Totori can be plucked from the obscurity is like the movie 'Goal' played out in real life. Little is know about Portland Timbers in the Solomon Islands; let alone US Soccer. But with Totori in the Timber's lineup, you can be sure that there will be a major following here in Honiara. USSL administers Division 1 football featuring 12 teams of which the Portland Timbers is one. Unlike other major football leagues in the world there are no promotion/relegation between the USL Division 1 and Major League Soccer. Having said that playing in this tier of football will provide many opportunities for MLS or beyond. Romario and Zinho, World Cup winners of 1994 have played at this level for the Miami FC.

A Brief History
Benjamin Totori is a fine footballer who has followed a strong family football tradition; although his father never shone as his son did those who remember the early days of football in the Solomon Islands can happily recall that his grandfather was a well renowned footballer with an especially unique style of scoring goals, a trait that Benjamin shares with his grandfather.

Benjamin grew up in very humble surroundings, the only child in the family, Benjamin has always been primed for success. His formative years were spent in Woodford International School where his father was a janitor and his football poweress was recognised early on in those years. Perhaps it is important to note that Benjamin has always stayed in school all throughout his football career before embarking on a full time professional career with Waitakere United in New Zealand.

Like his father, Benjamin joined the Uncles Football Club as a teenager and along with another Solomon Island rising star, Kidston Billy, they became a formidable scoring machine that took the league by storm. Major casualties included some of Solomon Island's longest-run and most glamourous clubs. Benjamin was then recruited by Nasinu Football Club in Fiji where he played for a year and completed high school at the Indian College in Suva. In 2005 Benjamin was selected into the National U20 Team which finished second to Australia in the qualifiers held in Honiara, Solomon Islands. He was immediately signed by Manawatu FC at the urging of Shane Rufer. In 2006, Benjamin spearheaded a rampant Manawatu squad whose only folly was being unable to win the NZFC Championship and failing to qualify for the O-League. However, Benjamin would complete the season as the leading scorer and with every major NZFC club chasing after his signature. Signing for Waitakere United in 2007 paved the way for Benjamin to shine on the world stage when he played in the World Club Championship in Tokyo, Japan. Whilst the spotlight was on senior soccer statesmen, Commins Menapi; Benjamin in one moment of brilliance had stamped himself as favorite to watch in Oceania. Videos of Benjamins nifty stepover at the World Club Champions and his rampant scoring spree at the NZFC was reason for notice by commentators on blogs and forums worldwide. By early 2008, there were rumours of his move to the US League after another strong showing at the Olympic qualifiers in which Benjamin almost singlehandedly took Solomon Islands to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

It would seem like fate works in different ways, as the disappointment of missing the Olympics has finally transpired into a dream signing that finally became a reality for the boy from Fishing Village.

Simplicity is an art
Fishing Village where Benjamin has his roots is a settlement right in the heart of Honiara renowned for their fishermen and at times perhaps unfairly stigmatized as trouble makers. Benjamin remains true to his humble beginnings and in spite of this latest major achievement, Benjamin will always come home to a nicely cooked meal of rice with fish in coconut cream and a tint of cabbage, Solomon style. A simple man, simple dreams and simplicity is an art form he has perfected.

I take my hat off to you Benji wishing you all the success.

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