July 2020 was a special month for Tahiti’s top striker Teaonui Tehau. He received an invitation to play in Europe for the first time in his career. His dream to become a professional football player can be fulfilled. A unique chance which is rarely given to football players from Tahiti. However, the hurdles Teaonui faces did not go unnoticed in The Netherlands.
This is a press release, released by the Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation.
- Full article in French / Article complet en français: Teaonui Tehau bénéficie de conditions propices aux Pays-Bas
Corona situation in The Netherlands
One of Teaonui’s concerns is the corona virus. Dutch intermediary Paul Driessen, who scouted Teaonui explains:
“The corona crisis in The Netherlands is very well under control after the governmental measures that have been taken in February. There is a lot of testing. Any hazards are isolated very quickly. That’s the advantage of being a small country. It might also be comfortable to know that The Netherlands has the second best health care system in Europe,” Driessen said in a press release.
Teaonui Tehau as football ambassador for Tahiti
Teaonui, seen as the best active football player in the country by many, can be a big influence on the career chances of other football players from Tahiti.
“For Tahiti as a football nation it is very important that he comes to play in The Netherlands. One of the reasons why there are rarely players from Tahiti to get a chance in Europe, is because most clubs have no idea of the level in Tahiti. Teaonui is the living proof that Tahiti has fantastic football players. He serves a bigger purpose by coming to The Netherlands. This is the way to open doors for other internationals from Tahiti to play on a higher level in Europe,” Driessen said.
Not 1,000 but 3,000 euro
“I usually do not talk in public about salaries but I have to make an exception here. I read in the Tahitian media that Teaonui interpreted 1,000 euro per month as actual offer. That is not correct. That amount was just given as an indication to Teaonui. After all we were not in the phase yet where we do negotiations about the salary with Kozakken Boys. I want the best conditions for him and I work hard to ensure that he has good basic conditions. We are now two weeks further and I can confirm that he will receive a 2-year contract with with a higher guaranteed salary if he gets contracted.” Driessen said.
Kozakken Boys trains three times per week in the evening. This gives their players the opportunity to earn another full salary from daytime job beside their club contract. This way Teaonui has a chance to increase his salary up to a total sum of 3,000 euro per month.
Driessen continues: “The cost of living is much cheaper in The Netherlands compared to Tahiti. Prices are 50-75% lower in our country. A studio apartment in The Netherlands will cost around €750. A full week of groceries is €50 and a health insurance is around €150 per month. Teaonui has plenty left to spend if he earns €3000 per month.”
“Then yet, this is just the start,” states Driessen.
“Teaonui can earn a contract in the 2nd national level if he scores a lot of goals at Kozakken Boys and become a full professional. The average salary for strikers in a top 5 club of the 2nd national level is between € 4,000 and € 8,000 per month. Kozakken Boys is a club where scouts are often visiting their matches. Many football players make their way to becoming full professional through Kozakken Boys.”
Chance of a lifetime
The opinion of Teaonui’s employer and AS Venus play a key role in his decision to pursue his dream.
“He has achieved pretty much everything that he could achieve as a club player in Tahiti. Teaonui is already years at his top but cannot make any more growth here. Both his employer and AS Venus are undoubtedly aware of this unique chance for Teaonui. It would be very sad if he does not get the maximum out of his talent. I truly hope that they will give him their full support. Also, because he gave AS Venus so much in the past years, this is a matter of respect to him as a talent. He deserves this chance,” Driessen said.
“I mean if we look at the numbers: how many Tahitians actually get this chance in the first place? How many Tahitians are playing in Europe at a high level in a senior team?”
Chance for World Cup qualification
“It would be good if FTF (The Tahiti Football Federation) provides financial support to Teaonui in order to boost his career in Europe. When we are looking at the facts: What have the winners and runner ups of the past four World Cup qualifiers (Papua New-Guinea, New-Caledonia and New-Zealand) in common? The answer: Their best football players are playing in Europe. The level of the Tahiti national football team will increase if Tahitian players gain experience on a senior level in Europe. World Cup qualifying chances for Tahiti will then increase.”
Kozakken Boys has stated that Teaonui is free to join Tahiti in FIFA windows for World Cup qualifying matches.
Kozakken Boys in urgent need of top striker
Kozakken Boys head coach Rick Adjei remains hopeful that he will come to Kozakken Boys. “Kozakken Boys does not invite just anybody to come on trial. We do our homework before we invite talentful players. Kozakken Boys is a club where he will experience a warm welcome in a top professional environment. Many professional football players from the 2nd national league are continuing their career at Kozakken Boys. He can learn a lot from team mates like former Real Madrid player Royston Drenthe. I was surprised when I read that he has never been invited before to a club in Europe. Kozakken Boys is a great club to go to if he wants to make steps forward. Plenty of football players went to become full-professional when they received a transfer from Kozakken Boys to another club. Teaonui has to realize that he is 27 years old. Becoming full-professional at 29 years old (season 2021-2022) is highly unlikely. So it is now or never if he wants to reach the top. We need a top striker with an ability to score many goals. His profile looks like a great match to us. I truly hope that he will chase his dream.
This is a press release, released on behalf of the Netherlands Oceania Support Foundation.