SPORTS

Right Move 11 Years Ago Allowed Roy Krishna To Excel

But the Fijian captain would never have made it to New Zealand if it were up to a group of Labasa officials, according to the New Zealand Herald.
27 Apr 2019 11:00
Right Move 11 Years Ago Allowed Roy Krishna To Excel
Roy Krishna.

Roy Krishna, the chief tormentor of the Hyundai A League, is enjoying the best form of his career.

The diminutive striker leads the A-League scoring charts with 18 goals after a 94th minute hat-trick – the first of his professional career – against Melbourne City on Sunday.

It was the 31-year-old’s latest milestone achievement in a growing list of impressive feats, including becoming the New Zealand-based club’s top goal scorer last December.

But the Fijian captain would never have made it to New Zealand if it were up to a group of Labasa officials, according to the New Zealand Herald.

The newspaper reported that in 2008 Waitakere United tried to secure Krishna’s services after scouting him at the Oceania U-20 Championships but Labasa refused to release the striker.

The saga rumbled on for nearly six more months before the move finally materialised with intervention from former Fiji Football Association president Shamsud-Dean Sahu Khan.

It was not the first time district officials had short-sightedly prioritised domestic success over player development and international exposure.

A move to New Zealand gave Krishna access to expert training, strong competition and the kind of professional guidance he would never have received in Fiji.

He went on to score 55 times in 75 appearances for Waitakere, becoming one of the most successful players in the club’s history before joining Auckland City in 2013.

His combination of raw pace and power, coupled with his killer instinct in front of goal, drew the attention of the Phoenix, who, without trouble, signed the striker in 2014.

The Siberia, Labasa native, has since become a local hero among football fans in Wellington, who flock to watch Krishna play at every home fixture.

Krishna will go down as one of Fijian football’s best players, something that would not have been possible had his move to Waitakere been blocked.

What has turned into a hugely impressive career in New Zealand could have ended prematurely had cooler heads not prevailed.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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