Though Sanma lost the grand final of the VFF National league to Shefa, Sanma striker Anthony Belly who scored the two goals says he can see a bright future ahead for football in Sanma province as a whole.
Belly says the whole Sanma representative team are village boys and they are all players from the Patvuti Football Club from Vimele village on the southern coast of Santo. Patvuti FC were crowned provincial champions last year.
For the majority of the team it was their first time to travel as a team to a big tournament as such and even their first time to play in our national stadium.
Belly says they faced a lot of challenges to make the grand final. After winning the northern region competition they were told about a certain date which they were to travel to Port Vila, however they received news the tournament would be cancelled due to covid 19.
A new date was however set and the South Santo boys camped at the provincial headquarters where they played two friendly games before sailing to the capital city on board MV Vanuatu Ferry.
Shefa captain Jason Timatua says they are so happy about winning, he says they never thought they would make the grand final since they assembled a team in the last minute, however he says walking with God and trusting Him is what earned them their victory.
Timatua says Shefa football had fallen in standard for many years, however with this victory he believes it has put the province back on the Vanuatu football map.
Timatua says he hopes to see Shefa in the OFC Champions League one day.
In the individual awards after the final, Tafea’s Noah Roger picked up the top scorer award, Shefa’s Jason Timatua got the player of the tournament award.
Shefa coach Benjamin Noel got best coach award and Shefa’s Daniel Alick picked up the best goal keeper award.