TODAY |

Manukau United Football club proving a hotbed of Pacific footballing talent

Manukau United Football Club is a melting pot of different cultures with 16 nationalities in the first team alone and the club is proving to be a gateway for Pacific footballing talent.

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The South-Auckland side is one of the most diverse clubs in the country and has several players from the Pacific, with one catching the eye of A-League scouts. Source: 1 NEWS

Manukau United already have three new young guns from Fiji in their squad, Mohamad Nabeel, Eto Dogalau and Rahul Naresh, and Naresh has already caught the eye of A-League club, Melbourne Victory.

The players have made their way to New Zealand through football scholarships from Mount Albert Grammar and team manager Farhad Bhamji admits that the pathway for Pacific players is a difficult one without some support.

"Its very hard for them, someone needs to give them a break, I don't think they can come on their own and get into teams like this," Bhamji said.

Hone Fowler, Manukau United Chairman, says the club can play a part in cultivating Māori and Pasifika success in the sport given the wealth of untapped talent in the area.

"There's a huge potential that we, traditionally, maybe have overlooked and now is the time to open that door."

"Our community is predominantly Pacific Island and Māori "

"It just opens doors and opportunities for these young players, in New Zealand, in South Auckland and also in the Pacific Islands towards a pathway to a career in the game."