The name Butler Bossi Hosea may not be synonymous with football in PNG, but the captain of the PNG U-16 team is not new to the role as a captain.
Butler, whose dad is from Namatanai in New Ireland and mother of mixed Madang and East New Britain, has been captaining the Tusbab Blue Kumuls Football Club in the Madang Soccer Association competition since 2013.
In the local competition, he captains the U-16 division and has been a role model for his peers and team mates. He ensures they turn up for training.
He started playing active football in 2013 when Madang established the Madang Soccer Centre of Excellence. He was only 11 then.
When the centre was set up in 2013, Buttler Hosea was one of the first students to enrol.
Others were Jesse Mandari, Jason Akaya Wadunah, Kimson Kapai, Graham Berigami and Ricky Wadunah to name a few.
Butler’s dream of playing for the national team started when he was selected to trial for the U17 in 2016.
He was only 14 and he could not make the team because he was too young, he thought his dreams were shattered.
“I thought of giving up playing football, but my mum encouraged me and supported me very well, Butler said.
“It was a bit tough for him when he was not selected in the 2016 U17 team, but I had to encourage him to be strong” his mother Frieda said.
“I told him I know nothing about soccer and I was only encouraging him.”
For Buttler, his perseverance and commitment paid off when he was selected to be part of the U-16 team to Solomon Islands and to be given the honour of captaining the team. “I am so proud for him,” his mother said.
“His friends in his local club have been calling him captain but I never paid much attention to his club role without realising that the role he played in his club has prepared him for the national responsibility.”