After the preseason I flew back to the Solomon Island, a month ago we played two friendlies against Cook Island and Tahiti and we were scheduled to play three friendlies in preparation for the Oceania Under 20 Championship. The Oceania Under 20 Championship was the continental championship for under 20 teams in Oceania which was held every other year. I was satisfied with the draw of the groups, we missed New Zealand who by far was the strongest country and who was luckily drawn into group A. Group B consisted of us, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, and Vanuatu while group A consisted of New Zealand, Samoa, New Caledonia, and Fiji. The group really could go either way, most countries were pretty similar in strength. Most countries were pretty similar in strength and it could go either way.
We started the preparations for the Oceania Under 20 Championship with a friendly against Tahiti who we would also play in our group games. Last time we drew against them and this time we won 3-1 also thanks to an own goal by one of the Tahiti Defenders. The second game was also against the team we already played, we played against the Cook Island, last time we won 2-1 but this time we did better by winning 3-1. Our final game was against American Samoa who had to play in the qualification round for Oceania Under 20 Championship which they ended up last with only getting one point. In our friendly, we lost 1-3 which showed how close most countries in Oceania were and you never knew. It was almost always almost a coin toss who would win. After these games, we made our way by plane to Cook Island where the tournament was held.
We checked into the hotel, we trained and a couple of days later we had to play our first game. The first game was against Vanuatu Under 20s, we won the game pretty easily with two goals by Marshall Futa en Gabriel Aimaea. Our Second game was against Tahiti Under 20s, often seen as the second strongest team in Oceania they were pretty close in strength compared to the other countries and far away from strength compared to New Zealand. We drew 2-2 with goals by Gabriel Aimaea and George Suri. With four points out of three games, it looked good but we still had to do our best to keep our first spot in the group so to evade New Zealand in the Semi Final. Our final game in group B was against Papua New Guinea Under 20s, we scraped by with a 2-3 win with goals by Gabriel Aimaea who scored twice and Rex Masibata. Because we won our group we evaded New Zealand and played against Samoa Under 20s who won the qualification round and ended up second in a group with New Zealand, New Caledonia Under 20s and Fiji Under 20s. The players were tired after playing three games in seven days, something they are not accustomed too in the Soloman Island league but although that was the case we played well against Samoa Under 20s, we won the game with again two goals by Gabriel Aimaea. September 17th we played the final, as to be expected against New Zealand who is much stronger than any other country. Although that being the case, we lost but we did play well, we lost 2-1 with the only goal being scored on our side by Gabriel Aimaea. Gabriel Aimaea also was the top scorer for Oceania Under 20 Championship 2016. Getting to the final also meant we qualified for the Under 20 World Cup 2017.
Although I was not present at the club I stayed on top of things including transfers. We signed another seven players, we signed 39-year-old Moroccan international Nourdin Boukhari from GLZ Delfshaven, attacker Samet Bulut who did not play for Jong Ajax signed for us, left-back Bob Groenendijk who played 1 match for Jong PSV signed from us, Rightback Henk Dijkhuizen who used to play for Eredivisie club Roda JC but was released, Jong Ajax midfielder Abdel Malek el Hasnaoui and 29 year old attacker Tim Janssen. Our final signing a friend of mine, Diego Sinagra who is also known as Diego Armando Maradona jr, the illegitimate son of Argentine national footballer Diego Maradona who was later legitimized.
During my absence, the football season for HVV also started, they already played six games which was almost a quarter of the season plus also the 2nd round of the Districtsbeker West2, one of the cups for amateurs. In six duels we scored an overwhelming thirty-five times and seven goals were scored against us. We started with a monster victory of 11-0 against BMT, after this we won 4-1 against Foreholte, Wateringse Veld GONA we won 5-1, 4-1 against GDA, 5-1 against OFB, 8-2 against VUC, and finally 3-1 against RKDEO. When I came back there were two more games to play in the first period of the season, a competitive match against Wilhelmus and a cup game for the Districtsbeker West2 3rd round against Maense who plays a division below us. Against Wilhelmus unlike most other games we kept a clean sheet and won 5-0. In the districtsbeker West2 3rd round game against Maense despite playing against a team of a division below us they scored two goals but nonetheless, we won 4-2.
The start of the season was good, we won all seven of our seven games, we scored a boatload of goals and as it seems and somewhat to be expected we were much stronger than the opposition in this division. In the league stand we where already five points ahead of the number two in our competition, West2 2e Klasse B after only seven games. If we keep this up becoming champions of this division seem to be inevitable.