Bala living his football dream in NZ


Roland Bala is living his dream pulling on the blue and gold of Southern United in the New Zealand national football league.
The 27-year-old Papua New Guinea international defender moved south a month ago and has already shown himself to be a player to watch.
He impressed in the club’s 2-2 draw against Auckland City in its national football league opener last Saturday.
He arrived in Wellington in April but things had not worked out for him at Team Wellington.
It was recommended he trial for Southern United, which signed him and allowed him to fulfil a dream.
“I always wanted to play here because it was always my dream to play in the [New Zealand] national league,” Bala said.
“So when I was told that I was going to come here it was a really big blessing for me and a dream come true.
“Australia, New Zealand, every player in the Pacific, that’s where they’re looking at.’’
He had been enjoying his time in Dunedin so far, living with his uncle who has lived in the city for 25 years.
The lifestyle, food and weather was taking some adapting to, although he was beginning to get used to it.
His partner, Jacklyn Lahari, remains at home and plays for the PNG national netball team, although she hopes to join him at some point.
Having grown up in Port Moresby, he played in the country’s national football league and is member of the national squad and had a three-month stint last year playing on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Last year the national team performed well at the OFC nations cup, going down in a penalty shootout to New Zealand in the final.

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