Hamilton Wanderers have made their first signings for the 2017-18 National Football League season.
New coach Ricki Herbert confirmed last Friday that Michael Built, Sam O’Regan, Matt Oliver and Patrick Aisa are on board for the club’s second ISPS Handa Premiership campaign.
Built, O’Regan and Oliver are all based locally, playing for Wanderers in the northern league winter competition, while Aisa is a Papua New Guinea international.
Herbert got to know Aisa while coaching the Papua New Guinea under-23 side in 2015, and he said the 23-year-old was a talented young player.
“He’s an attacking-type player – he can play wide, he can play in behind a striker.
He’s a new face, something different, and I’m delighted that he’s keen to come to the club and hook up that player-coach relationship that we had,” Herbert said.
From an early age Patrick Aisa has wanted to be different to those around him.
In fact, it’s one of the reason’s the young Papua New Guinea international picked football over the array of sports on offer.
“In my family there is no other brother or sister playing soccer, it’s just me, myself,” Aisa said.
“I just want to be different in my family.
“I chose football just to be different and I was surprised I was quite good at it. I just want to keep trying to do better and better.”
The choice is now playing dividends for him as he continues soaring to new heights.
Aisa is still a single figure senior international, but he’s played a key role in every single one of his appearances, most tellingly during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifiers.
But for Aisa, being part of the rise of Papua New Guinea football is important for the 22-year-old striker.