Football in Oceania has an exclusive interview with the captain of the Solomon Islands national team Henry Fa’arodo.

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Henry Fa’arodo in action for Solomon Islands during the 2016 OFC Nations Cup (Photo credit: Fifa.com)

The 34-year-old talks to Football in Oceania about his career, how he hopes to go abroad one more time, his new job at the Solomon FA and that he plans to hang up his boots for the national team at the end of the year, unless they do the impossible and beat New Zealand over two legs in the World Cup Qualification Playoffs in September. Then he might reconsider.

Read the full interview with Fa’arodo below:

With the raw talents we have here, I believe we can have more players playing in the New Zealand Premiership and even as far as the A-League.

Football in Oceania: – You’ve been around quite a lot in your career but now you’re back in the Solomons, are you planning to finish your career here or would you like to go abroad again if the opportunity presents itself?

Henry Fa’arodo: – I have been around in regards to football and time does really fly. I am now back in the Solomon’s working as a Technical Development Officer at the federation. I am planning to finish my international career for the Solomon’s by the end of the year. I would like to go abroad in terms of club football given the opportunity arise and probably get into a coaching job or something that involves football.

– As Technical Development Officer, I have been organising youth football programs for both clubs and schools. it is quite a challenge for me. But it is a challenge I am excited about. At the Solomon Cup I was more of a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) but at the same time, I am looking at young talents coming from the provinces.

– How disappointing was it to not go through the Group Stage of the Champions League this year with Western United and what was the experience like?

– It is always disappointing to fall short at a major tournament like the O-League, but apart from losing, the best part of it is the experience you gain from such tournament especially being up against the eventual winners – Auckland City. (Western lost the match against Auckland 2-1, they finished second in the group with six points.)

– What is the state of football like in the Solomons? As I’m on the other side of the world myself it is a little bit hard to judge. Would you say there are many players who could go on to play in New Zealand’s Premiership or the A-League?

– It is crazy here in the Solomon’s. Football is the most played sport, it is the national sport of the country and it is played at an amateur level. With the raw talents we have here, I believe we can have more players playing in the New Zealand Premiership and even as far as the A-League. Given that they go through a good development structure here in the Solomon Islands.

Being the captain of the national team the most important part of my role is to be a good role model for the lads. […] and not only that but to be inspirational to all through the game of football. 

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The Solomon Islands players celebrating Fa’arodo’s penalty goal in the final group match against Papua New Guinea (Photo credit: OFC)

– Over to the national team; This has been a very successful World Cup qualification, how do you see your chances against New Zealand in the playoffs, and how important do you think having the second game at home will be?

– We do have a good run. Started off slow but coming hard towards the end. This journey will be successful at the end of the All Whites games. We sort of know what to expect from the professional set up of the All Whites and we are excited about it. I think the fixtures is what we hoped for in our build up as well. To have a home game after the 1st leg is important in our plans. And if we do the impossible and qualify for the next stage, then I will have a think about my retirement.

– You’ve played at a high level in both Australia and New Zealand, how do you think your experience can help the younger players, both at national and club team? 

– I have been fortunate to be able to play at quite a high level both in NZ and Australia and I have learnt a lot from these experiences. I really believe I have so much to give to the young up and coming talents of the Solomon Islands while I am here both at international and club level.

– What do you see as your most important job as captain of the national team?

– Being the captain of the national team the most important part of my role is to be a good role model for the lads. To be able to set the standards for the young lads coming up the ranks and not only that but to be inspirational to all through the game of football. 

Football in Oceania wishes Henry and the Solomon Islands team the best of luck in the matches against New Zealand. The first match will take place at the QBE Stadium in Auckland on the 1st of September at 19:35 local time, while the second match will be played on the 5th of September at the Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara at 14:00 local time.


Thanks to Henry Fa’arodo for his time. You can follow Henry on Twitter here.