Taputimu Youth lifts 2012 FFAS President’s Cup

Taputimu Youth with their fans and supporters and their men’s FFAS President’s Perpetual Cup after winning the championship game 1-0 against Lion Heart A on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at Pago Park Soccer Stadium. [Brian Vitolio/FFAS MEDIA]

A Fred ‘Pepa’ Meredith penalty kick in the 54th minute of the match helped Taputimu Youth lift the 2012 FFAS President’s Cup  over Lion Heart A 1-0 to end the competition year for the soccer association on Dec. 8.

“This is a big achievement for us because a lot of us in our village have been trying to put together a sports team for many years and it has finally been accomplished,” said Taputimu Youth President Lalafa’amataovi’i Filiva’a.

“Winning is not exactly everything, but what is most important is that our goal of getting all the village kids together to form a sports club is what we’re all proud of,” continued Filiva’a.  “This has been the hope of our church leader and patriarch, Rev. Elder Tautalatasi Fanolua Sr.”

Filiva’a said that he and Tautalatasi Fanolua Jr., the son of the CCCAS Taputimu reverend and also the club’s vice president, have been working together to fulfill the wishes of their church’s pastor in putting together a village sports club.

“We started it off with rugby and it didn’t quite work out as we planned,” Filiva’a said. “But it worked out a little better for soccer because a lot of the village youth have the talent for this sport.

“Now in our first year we have achieved a lot in soccer and we are very thankful to the soccer association for giving us this opportunity to bring our village youth together to play and work together.”

Taputimu Youth sought admittance into FFAS as a member club and was allowed.  As their president mentioned, a lot of their players played for various clubs.

Some of them include one of the territory’s best defenders in Sonny Filiva’a, younger brother to the club’s president, as well as a slew of players including the championship game’s MVP Panwechi Kaleopa.

Complimenting Kaleopa were other key players such as Suani Uelese Jr., Maika Molesi, Fred ‘Pepa’ Meredith, Jerry Iosefo and Tata Falaile.

They also had two of the best strikers in their team — Ryan Petaia and Bobby Nu’usila — but both moved off island in the middle of the year.

Taputimu Youth is the only team to beat National League champions, Pago Youth A, during a thrilling pool match in President’s Cup group play earlier in the year.

In the game against Lion Heart A, a division 1 team, the second division’s No. 2 place finisher dominated possession and attacks with Kaleopa and Meredith controlling things in midfield.

Iosefo and Falaile were their points of attack and that constant pressure finally led to a push inside the penalty area that resulted in the game-winning PK.

“Our sports club would also like to thank our patriarch, Rev. Elder Fanolua for his support during the entire year and we look forward to the 2013 competition year,” said Filiva’a.


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