Roy Krishna An Inspiration To All Athletes

Krishna, Fiji’s only professional footballer, has enjoyed tremendous individual success with A-League side Wellington Phoenix since signing with them in 2014.
25 Mar 2019 10:18
Roy Krishna An Inspiration To All Athletes
Vodafone Fiji’s Roy Krishna in celebration mode with his teammates during the FIFA International Friendly at Churchill Park, Lautoka, against Mauritius on March 24, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Roy Krishna’s return to the Vodafone Fijian national football team propelled them to victory against a higher-ranked Mauritius side yesterday.

His raw pace and power, coupled with his knack to be in the right place at the right time, helped Krishna notch the winning goal.

Aside from the New Zealand-based striker’s well-taken goal, Fiji were poor and seemed to lack ideas against their African opponents.

Krishna, Fiji’s only professional footballer, has enjoyed tremendous individual success with A-League side Wellington Phoenix since signing with them in 2014. He surpassed Phoenix legend Paul Ifill last December to become the club’s all-time leading scorer with his 34th goal in a 1-1 draw with Perth Glory.

The Siberia, Labasa, native has scored 13 more times in 16 games since then, averaging almost a goal every match.

In January, Krishna also became the first player in A-League history to score a brace in three consecutive matches. That goal tally, and Krishna’s impressive displays, has kept him in the hunt for the Johnny Warren medal, awarded at the end of the season to the A-League’s best player.

Those exploits have also made Krishna’s signature highly-coveted in Australia’s premier football competition, with his Nix contract expiring at the end of the season.

But the road to becoming one of the best players in the A-League this season has hardly been easy.

His move to Waitakere United in 2008 was nearly thwarted by some selfish and puny-minded Labasa officials, reported the New Zealand Herald.

Krishna went on to become a great success at Waitakere, scoring 55 times in 75 appearances before earning a trial with the Nix in 2009.

The trial did not work out and Krishna’s wait for professional football continued. In 2013, after switching over to Auckland City, Krishna scored for them at the Morocco Club World Cup, in a 2-1 defeat to home team Raja Casablanca.

Despite the loss, Auckland City and Krishna earned plenty of praise for their efforts at the competition.

Wellington Phoenix came calling shortly after, wanting to correct their earlier mistake of overlooking such a mercurial talent.

Krishna’s storied climb to professional football has required him to persevere in the face of adversity, overcome rejection and defy expectations.

There are lessons for all athletes, not just footballers, in the way the Fijian captain remained focussed on his goals and continued to believe in himself despite the setbacks.

Those qualities have also served him well on the pitch. When discussing the rise of Krishna, most point to his soldier-like discipline and the amount of hours he puts into improving himself in training. At 31, Krishna is ageing like fine wine and remains integral, if not indispensable, to the Wellington Phoenix’s aspirations this season.

His passion for Fiji, despite recently becoming a New Zealand citizen, is also well-known. His contribution to the local game has also been immense. One day, perhaps we will be on the lookout for another Roy Krishna. For now, let’s enjoy this inspirational talent.

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