SPORTS

Life After Sports: Patrick’s Football Journey

His dribbling skills, speed and ability to catch the goalkeeper napping with his well-placed shots.
14 Aug 2020 16:17
Life After Sports: Patrick’s Football Journey
From left: Patrick Wise and Castaway Island Resort general manager Steven Andrews in Nadi recently. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

He was one of the country’s most stylish midfielders. And today, few players have got close to the talented Patrick Wise.

His dribbling skills, speed and ability to catch the goalkeeper napping with his well-placed shots.

The 48-year-old said that football back in the late 1980s and through the 1990s was a lot different in how the game was played and the size of the crowd that would be at the games venue.

“I think part of it was due to the passion and the sacrifices made by every player given the fact there was little in terms of monetary incentive,” Wise said.

“We used to find our own way to training, took it upon ourselves to do our own training away as everybody had to compete for a spot in the team.”

He started playing football while attending Saint Thomas Primary School in Lautoka.

“I felt comfortable being a midfielder and I had natural talent for the sport. It was part of our primary school sport and I guess I felt at home being on a football pitch.

“It gave me the ability to express myself and my talent.

“It also gave me an opportunity to compete and football gave me that.

“Since I was good at it, it made it easier to make this connection with other people and to excel in my working career.

Wise said apart from football he was also played hockey while at primary school.

Journey

His football talents began to attract the attention of district coaches and at the age of 16, Wise made his debut for Navua.

“I was still at high school back then,” he recalled.

There was no looking back, as Wise went on to play for Nasinu, he played for Suva, Lami and Rewa.

“I played for Rewa for the longest of time and officially ended my career at 34.”

Wise also represented the Fijian Under-16, U20, U23 teams before playing for the national team from 1990 to 2000.

“Playing football at the age of 16 for Navua was the highlight of my career as we went on to win the promotion relegation and was promoted to the Super Premier division.

“I was 16 then and only got the opportunity to be part of the team as some senior players were suspended. I took the opportunity with both hands and my football career took off.”

Fight against drugs

While his boots were doing wonders on the football pitch, Wise was very outspoken when it comes to the usage of drugs in the sport.

“I stood for the truth and when The issue came to the limelight in 2008 and he went on national television to reveal what had been happening behind the scene.

“Those were my worst memories because I was targeted by those that did not like what I did.

“I was sidelined after exposing the abuse of drugs by players at that time. There was no fair play then.

“No one motivated me to come out publicly I just felt it was not the right thing to do and I had to bring it out,” Wise said.

“I revealed it all when the team travels to a match, the bus is divided into two, those who smoke drugs sit at the back while those that do not smoke drugs sit in the front.

“That was a normal thing and no one can deny that from happening.

“I went on television and it was the end of everything, people denied that it was happening during Dr Sahu Khan’s time,” he recalled.

Fast track to 2020, drugs remained to be part of the sport, however, the Fiji Football Association headed by president, Rajesh Patel has showed no remorse on any player who tested positive.

“I never touched drugs but trained the hard way. Wake up in the morning and run.

“Even now and then I still run in the afternoon. It has become a habit for me and I have done it for years.”

Wise backs the formation of the Ex-Fiji Reps Association body.

“This is something that is long overdue and must be encouraged.

“We need to start the discussions and initiate actions. Hope this does come about in my time,” he said.

Life

Wise was born on December 27, 1972 at Labasa.

He attended St Thomas Primary School, Lautoka then Vashist Muni College at Navua.

He is married to Shirley and they have three children.

His brother Casten played for Rewa too while his younger brother Donald Wise played for Navua. His nephew Robert Wise played for Ba.

Wise has been with Goodman Fielder for the past 20 years and currently in a leadership position with the business.

“I learnt all the ropes straight off Goodman Fielder,” he added.

“ It’s good to learn new things everyday and life is all about knowing new things.”

“I’ve found this out while i working that it’s never too late to learn new things from people around you.”

“Football has taught me a lot about discipline so that’s an advantage for me”

“Some of my competitiveness and discipline learnt on the field,

“I apply it in my day to day work and I’m thankful for the opportunity to play the sport for so long without serious injury.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper