October 18, 2012
He was not even born when Suva last lifted the Inter District Championship trophy in 1983, but defender Waisake Navunigasau still recalls the day when he first donned the white jumper and had a dream of hoisting the prestigious Lloyd Farebrother cup someday.
And that someday happened to be last Sunday, October 14, 2012, a day which will go down in the history books of Suva Football Association as the district won the tournament after a lapse of 28 years.
With so much controversy surrounding the awarding of the goal and the abandonment of the final, the Capital City came alive yesterday when they were officiallly declared the winners by Fiji Football Association.
For Navunigasau, it is a dream come true to win the IDC and the header from which he scored will always fresh in his mind.
FijiLive caught up with the 23-year-old Totoya native yesterday and heard some interesting facts from him.
"I made my debut for Suva in 2007 and it just feels great to score the winning goal in IDC final, five years on," he quipped.
"I actually made my first appearance in the white jersey against Ba at Govind Park in the National League. We won that game 4-2 and I was playing striker with Joseph Nimariau who scored all the four goals in the match."
Known to his family and friends as "Wise Junior", the lanky and friendly player says his first cousin and former Suva defender Tupou Tagiduadua encouraged him to join Suva in training while he was still in high school.
"I was in Form 5 at MGM High School and was representing the school the Fiji U17 team back then when my cousin Tupou asked me to join Suva for training. I went for training and managed to impress the officials."
Junior after moving to the main land from Totoya started his football career in class 3 at Nasinu Muslim Primary School before moving to MGM.
"The biggest highlight in my football career was when I was chosen to represent Fiji in 2007 against New Caledonia in the U17 playoffs."
"From there it has been no looking back for me as I have been playing competitive football at club and district level."
"Former coach Intiaz Khan drafted me back in the Suva team after I missed out in the earlier seasons. He told me try and play in defence as my experience as a striker and my height complimented me. I took up the challenge and at first, I played at centre back and then moved to right back where I really clicked."
"I played in the BOG final last year at right back and from there on I have stuck to my position and always try to give my best for Suva whenver I take the field."
The Bureta sports club player says the IDC goal will not sink and his family will also cherish this special achievment of his.
"I really feel proud everytime I am reminded of that goal because it makes me feel special. As a true player of Suva and a team player, I gave my best and thank my coach, players, family and the god almighty for giving me the strength, courage and motivation," he added.
Navunigasau's idol is his fellow defender and veteran Inosi Cava who according to him is the best motivator on the field and someone every player in the Suva team looks up to for guidance and support.
Suva and Navunigasau will celerate their IDC triumph this Saturday.