Life After Football
He was one of the country’s rising football stars. During last year’s Courts Interdistrict Championship (IDC), 18-year-old midfielder, Akeimi Ralulu made the headlines.
He had earlier captained Kamil Muslim College of Ba and kicked the winning penalty as they edged out Nadi Muslim College 7-6 on penalty kicks in the IDC secondary schools Under-19 final.
An hour later, while celebrating in the dressing room, young Akeimi seek for his team mates forgiveness as he was about to don the Labasa jumper and play against Ba in the Super Premier IDC grand final.
The youngster came in as a substitute early in the second half as the Babasiga Lions went on to win 2-1 and claim the country’s prestigious football title.
Today, Akeimi is staying with relatives in Suva as he looks for an opportunity to secure a stable job with the hope that he gets an opportunity to complete his education.
“I come from a family of eight and we’ve only one working,” the Bua youngster said.
“My dad who was a fisherman is now retired. Life is hard for us so I’ve decided to move to Suva with the hope of finding a job but in my heart I really want to continue with my education.”
Akeimi said, he was grateful to the Fiji Football Association for accommodating him at the Ba Academy where he was able to attend Kamil Muslim College.
“It was in Kamil I did a course in hotel and catering. I managed to finish the first stage so now I’m looking for a place to do my practical before I continue on with the second stage.
“I’m staying with my uncle, who is a retired soldier and he is helping me find a place to do my practical. But I cannot rely on him as he got things to do as well but I’ve got to keep on trying and hopefully get something in the next few weeks.”
Akeimi pointed out that he was honoured to have represented the Vodafone Fijian Under-17 and U20 football teams.
“I was in the Vodafone national football squad and attended our first training camp under the new coach Christophe Gamel, but was dropped because of injury. Now I’ve recovered and I’ve got to find something secure so that I can financially support my family back in Siberia.”
The youngster said, it’s a matter of setting his priorities right as he need to secure something first as he cannot rely on football all the time.
“That’s why it’s important for me to complete my course and get my qualifications. It will be something I could fall back on when my football career is over.”
Akeimi indicated that since the Transfer Window is closed, he is going to wait until it opens later in the year.
“I’ve to make sacrifices and work on what I’ve set to do and hopefully will be ready to join any district once the transfer window opens again.”
Edited by Marika Delai