Western United Academy striker Greg Siamoa has been named in a 23-man squad to represent Samoa at the upcoming Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) U-19 Championship.
The tournament will take place in Tahiti and begins in a weeks’ time, running from September 8 until September 25.
As well as fighting for supremacy among nations in the Oceania region, this tournament holds the extra importance of qualification for the FIFA U20 World Cup, with the top two sides set to earn a place at the 2023 tournament in Indonesia.
Siamoa will be eager to help his Samoan outfit reach the final of the tournament to compete for silverware and have the added opportunity of a youth World Cup next year.
“I’m very proud to represent Samoa and especially the Samoan people back home and all over the world. I’ve had a lot of messages showing great support and am just trying to do my best to do good for the team,” he said.
“Obviously everything is a part of my journey and this experience is just another stepping stone, but also helps me play with different players which will always help me learn new things.
“I’m very excited for the tournament and the boys are working every day to prepare for our first game in the group stage.”
Western United Academy Director Anthony Frost said this was a proud moment for Siamoa and one that was well deserved after the work he had put in this season.
“For Greg, he has worked tirelessly throughout the year and made steady improvement which is testament to the effort he’s put in,” he said.
“He’s been rewarded not only with opportunities in (Western United NPL) senior team but also now selection for an international tournament, which is a fantastic opportunity for him and can only be beneficial for his development. We’re really excited and wish him the best.”
Siamoa made six appearances with Frost in the NPL Senior’s this season after scoring a superb 24 goals in just 16 games in the Under 21’s competition.
Seeing his development through Western United’s Academy, Frost said Siamoa’s call-up to the Samoan side was a reflection of the opportunities the Club strives to provide young players.
“It’s positive signs for the Academy that we’re able to provide a platform for these players to progress to the highest possible level, which is certainly the Academy’s ambition,” he said.
“We’re able to support each individual on their journey and when these opportunities come up, we wholeheartedly celebrate it and encourage it.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how Greg goes in the tournament and we hope that there are many more international experiences for players coming through our academy program.”
Siamoa and his teammates are currently in camp ahead of the beginning of the group stage, where Samoa are placed in Group C alongside New Caledonia and Vanuatu.