December 7, 2023

Tongan heritage player join Cambodian team

Ata “AJ” Inia has joined Cambodian side Angkor Tiger FC.

Ata Inia. (Photo credit: Screen grab from Angkor Tiger Youtube)

The Australian of Tongan descent joined the team that finished 7th in the Cambodian top flight last season, after two years at Melbourne Knights in Australia.

According to local media outlet Khmer Times he is the first Tongan to ever play professionaly. As far as Football in Oceania knows, Inia has yet to feature for any Tongan national side.

The 20-year-old says players, fans, staff and coaches have all made him feel welcome at his new team.

“Ata is a player that we tested last year. Despite his young age, he has the qualities to become a great player,” head coach Oriol Mohedano Segura said, according to Khmer Times.

“I want to make him a great offensive player in Asean football and he fits perfectly with Angkor Tiger FC’s identity as a young, ambitious and disciplined lad. So happy that the club signed him despite the difficulties of bringing foreigners here due to the pandemic,” he added.

Inia received congratulatory messages from the Tonga FA. They posted a link to the Khmer Times article, with the text: “Congratulations AJ, we are so proud of your great achievement”.

You can watch AJ Inia’s first interview with his new club below

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