Browne inks PNG’s pathway in Europe


David Browne, the son of a cartoonist, has been drawing his own path in football since the day he started playing.
His journey started just like many others before him, after watching a video of Portuguese world star Cristiano Ronaldo, and deciding that he wanted to give football a try.
From humble beginnings, living in the Kaugere suburb of Port Moresby, he has gone on to become the first Papua New Guinean footballer to play professionally in Europe after he signed for Dutch Eredivisie team, PEC Zwolle last year.
While in Port Moresby between 2007 and 2010, he changed schools three times, attending Korobosea International School from 2007 to 2008, St Josephs International School in 2009, and Port Moresby International School in 2010.
Browne played for two years for the Port Moresby Soccer Association’s development team, Port Moresby School of Excellence Football Club, from 2010 to 2011.
The development club was founded in 2010 and was dominated by players from the Papua New Guinea Under-17 squad.
Born in Port Moresby, he left PNG at the age of 15, after being awarded a scholarship at Saint Peters College in Auckland, New Zealand, after playing in the 2011 Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) U17 men’s tournament for PNG.
However, his start to football in New Zealand started tragically, as soon after his arrival, his father, Bob Browne, passed away.
Showing great character, he worked hard in his first year in Auckland after his father’s passing.
He played for the high school and local club, Central United FC.
By the end of his second season with the club, he was awarded player-of-the-year for his efforts.
He went on to represent the local state side and became top goal-scorer for Saint Peters College, before catching the eye of Auckland City FC (ACFC).
In the three years he spent at the club, he scored 10 goals and made 33 appearances, won the OFC Champions League twice and was part of the ACFC squad that finished third in the 2014 Fifa Club World Cup in Morocco.
Last year, he tried out with the Nike Football Academy, already having more accolades than some professional players and was awarded a place in the squad, but at the same time was offered a professional contract in The Netherlands.
He chose the latter option, signing up with PEC Zwolle.
Since then, his career has seen him move to another Eredivisie club, FC Groningen.
He is at the moment a part of the club’s U23 team, trying to play his way into the first team and with him playing well in recent pre-season matches, he’s putting himself in a position to do so.
David’s story of how he made it to Europe is unique and hopefully  the young 20-year-old can build on his career in Europe and continue to draw a pathway for future Papua New Guinean footballers to do the same. – theone2pass

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