At 32 years old, Andrew Setefano is the oldest player and most experienced in Samoa’s Soccer Team for the Pacific Games.
He hails from the villages of Alamagoto, Moamoa Fou, Vaitoomuli Palauli,Faleapuna, Saletele Fagaloa and Leulumoega.
The centre back currently plays for the Magiagi Soccer club eam but his record also boasts of international experience at Premier and First Division levels. Setefano has a playing record of playing in the primary and secondary schools and being selected to play for the Under 16 and Under 15 Teams.
His first overseas club was Upper Hutt in New Zealand and was there for three years -2010, 2011 and 2012. But during that time he was contracted to play for the Hekeri United Club in Papua New Guinea for 6 months every year.
Hekeri United was the most memorable for Setefano for during his first year there it was the Club which won the Oceania League played at Abu Dabu. Setefano however was not able to travel with the team, as he had to be with his mother in Samoa while she underwent surgery.
He also played for the Waitakere City Club Auckland in 2015 and Mangere Club in 2016 where he was captain of the team.
Setefano’s interest in soccer comes from his father who was a soccer player while he was a student at Moamoa Theological College.
Setefano and the other 10 local players are in camp while the other team members are training overseas.
Being a senior member of the team is putting pressure on the 32 year old as it is their aim to get a medal. Samoa is pooled together with some of the strong teams in the Pacific like Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Tonga.
Setefano and the team are not intimidated and are strategising how to win a medal . They are also praying day and night to God to help their team and are assured by the promise “everything is possible with the Lord.”
To build up the team Setefano shares his experience with overseas clubs to the rest of the team. “ I tell them about the play style of the different countries and we should prepare for that.”
He is currently the coach for the women’s team but it is his aim is to be the coach for the men’s team.
Local Clubs Setefano played for included Addidas of Alamagoto; Togafu’afu’a Central United i Togafuafua;Cruz-A-Zuel, Sinamoga and the Malifa Kiwi
Eleven countries are confirmed to compete in the Men’s Division . Group A – Samoa, Tonga, NZ Under 23, PNG and Vanuatu. Group B: New Caledonia, American Samoa, Tuvalu, Tahiti, Fiji, Solomon Islands.
The format for the competition will be:
• Teams will play a round robin within their pool in the group phase of the competition.
• The top placed team in each group will advance to the gold medal match.
• The runner-ups in each group will play in the bronze medal match