Lanky marksman Saula Waqa says his two-year-old daughter Katusha Verena Waqa and his grandmother Sereana Waqanicakau were his biggest motivators in winning the 2023 Digicel Fiji FACT on Sunday.
Waqa netted the winner in the second spell of extra time to overcome a gutsy Rewa 2-1 and ran towards his daughter to celebrate the goal.
The 27-year-old told FijiLive that his grandmother’s sickness motivated him to play to his level best and end their 21-year-old tournament drought.
“My grandmother means the world to me as she was the one who brought me up. She has been sick and bedridden for some time now. I was really eager to score a goal in the final for my team and my family.”
“From day one, I told myself that I have to win this tournament for her because I kept remembering the struggles she faced in bringing me up in life.”
“Every game I played in the Fiji FACT was for her and even this win is for her and my daughter as both of them will be celebrating their birthday early next month. They both are my biggest responsibility in life and I even play football to make them happy.”
“My wife always brings my daughter to all the games I play and I feel happy to see them around me. They bring utmost joy to my life and even today, I wasn’t confident of scoring so after the break, I remembered my grandmother and my daughter’s happy face.”
The Nativi villager from Rakiraki added that he is eager to celebrate the victory with his family in Lautoka this week.
“We are planning to hold a church service for my grandmother this weekend and pray for her health.”
“The Lautoka team will also be having the celebration but right now, I just want to go home and rest and spend some time with my family.”
“It’s never easy to sacrifice your family and stay in camp but I’m glad I did because the end result is very sweet.”