The National, Wednesday October 16th, 2013
By HENRY MORABANG
Eastern Stars marquee signing, Solomon Islander Jack Whitney, went straight into his first training session after slipping into the country on Monday.
Whitney, the Oceania Confederation’s most profilic goal-scorer in beach soccer, was snatched by the Stars, who beat Papua New Guinea champions, Hekari United and his former club, Amicale of Vanuatu, for his signature.
The man from Malaita led a small contingent of Solomon Islanders, including former Star Timothy Joe, who made a return to his favourite blue and white jumper, Freddy Kini (back) and Tony Otini (midfield/striker).
Whitney shied away from an interview but Eastern Stars franchise owner Joseph Ealadona boasted about his signing,saying his team was now ready to provide good competition to other teams, including Hekari United.
Ealadona said with the backing of the Stars board, which includes prominent businessmen like Peter Loko, the former Telikom PNG chief executive, and Madiu Andrew – the PNGFA president, the Stars were ready to provide good opposition.
Whitney is a member of Solomon Islands national soccer team and a most sought-after player.
Ealadona was pleased to have players of high calibre helping to take soccer in the country to the next level through the semi-professional National Soccer League.
In their first training session on Monday at the Bisini ground, the Solomons players blended well with the unknown Super League talents of Rodney Mobiha, Pettyson Elizah and Todd Lipson of the Defence Soccer Club and Kelly Jampu of Rapatona and Joshua Niebo of Hard Rocks.
Whitney played for Vanuatu’s Amicale last year.
Stars coach Trevor Ire was happy with the inclusion of Whitney and his compatriots.