Young Simongi was selected from the Elite Academy Programme in Lae based on his academic excellence and his football performance.
Simongi started kicking the soccer ball at the age of 7 doing is elementary schooling at the Ten City Elementry School in Lae, Morobe Province.
Now doing his year 12 at Bugandi Secondary School, he will attend One Tree Hill College while participating in a training programme with OFC outside of school hours to develop both his academic and football performances.
His Dad Besi Gozu Simongi said Emmanuel was a quiet and obiedient youngman in school and at home.
“He balances his education and his football training well and I am so happy for him to excel to another level.
I want to thank his Elite Academy coach Harrison Kamake for his training and PNG Football Association for giving him the opportunity to learn new stuff.”
OFC Head of Education and Training Giovani Fernandes coordinated the rigorous selection process to find candidates with the potential to perform in the Education Centre.
“We created guidelines around the principles of the programme establishing the profile of athletes we’d like to have in the Education Centre,” he said.
“We then liaised directly with the technical directors and the member associations. From there it was their call to nominate the players they wanted to include in the programme,” he added.
The OFC Education Centre philosophy is to develop high performers, by identifying specific individual needs and motivations, repeatedly reinforcing processes to accomplish tasks and therefore forming habits through the creation of a competitive environment.
The Education Centre will achieve this through an approach that aims to develop the potential of OFC stakeholders promoting learning through ownership, awareness and responsibility.
“The centre is a very significant initiative to OFC because it reflects OFC President David Chung’s vision for leaving a legacy in the region,” Fernandes said.
“The focus of the programme is on education, and not only academic education. We needed to identify the specific needs of the student-athletes and through the support of OFC and the President, address those needs and help them improve.
“Long-term we want to develop high performance people. This means we want to develop ethical people, people that give their best in everything they do, think the best they can possibly think to perform, and evaluate their own performances. Those are the four key areas we will help them improve.”
The Education Centre is a full-time programme and balancing the students’ academic workloads with their football development is high priority.
“They will have football contact with the OFC Education Centre coaching staff on a daily basis. The training load and content will be monitored and adapted according to players’ needs.
“At the same we will place a strong individual focus on the establishment of personal development activities for all student-athletes.”
Young Simongi with the other 6 student-athletes will participate in the OFC Education Centre until the end of term four.