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Father John bids Farewell to Samoa.

Father John Walenciej SDB – Don Bosco who originally hails from Poland has been working in Samoa for the last fifteen years, seven of which have been at the Parish of Saint Michael’s in the village of Leauvaa.
During his time in Samoa Father John has been instrumental in ensuring that young people play football: “From the early days of my life I was a Football person in Poland. So when I came to Samoa I saw how much the people here enjoyed sports, and so as a result I saw this as an opportunity for the young people of Leauvaa to learn and enjoy the sport of football”, explained Father John.
What also brings Father John great joy is to see young people of his village play Football on reclaimed land situated behind his house. This land was reclaimed with the support of the village and different donors. It is also one of the reasons he believes is the success of their Under 15 Boys team.
Currently, Leauvaa’s Under 15 Boy’s team lead the 2010/2011 SamoaTel Under 15 standings with 10 wins and 1 loss. Father John also takes great pride in organizing and managing the team before and after matches. During games he can be seen and heard on the sidelines giving instructions to his player’s in Samoan like, ‘tamoe’ and ‘pasi pasi’.
With regards to the future of football at his village of Leauvaa, Father John explained: “I hope that 1, 2, or 3 boys from Leauvaa can one day qualify and play for the senior national football team. This would be a natural promotion and it would bring great joy to the parents, matais, churches, and the whole village”.
On leaving Samoa after 15 years, Father John explained: “When you consider that I have spent a third of my life here in Samoa it is not easy to leave the place where I have spent so much time. I also know that we cannot live and work at one place forever. Also my mum back in Poland is 84 and I want to go for some time to pay my duties and spend some time with her”.
FFS CEO Fred Young expressed his thanks for the support and good work that Father John has done for football: “I want to thank Father John for his great contribution to Football in Samoa. We here at the federation are saddened to see him leave and wish him all the best on this future endeavours.

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