[Source: Fiji Football/Facebook]
Making the 25-member squad for the Digicel Fiji Football Under19 side is quite an achievement for Abdullah Aiyas.
The 19-year-old was born and raised in Australia but holds greatly to his Fijian heritage as his father is from Mulomulo in Nadi.
Aiyas plays for Bonnyrigg White Eagles and says his growth in the sport came with a lot of challenges.
“It’s harder being a person with color of skin and stuff so I had to work twice as hard. I wasn’t the best player while I was growing up but I put in twice the effort, morning, afternoon training.”
Despite this he held on to his goal of one day representing his place of origin.
“It’s a feeling like no other because I’m from Sydney, Australia but parents are from Nadi and Labasa so it will mean everything. My grand-dad died two weeks ago so it has been a tough time so hopefully I can represent him.”
Aiyas says his parents were his pillar of support, taking him through some of the lowest points in his life.
He was also part of the Bula Boys extended squad earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the Digicel Premier League resumes today with Labasa facing Nasinu at the Uprising Sports Complex at 6pm.
Tomorrow, Ba plays Glamada Rewa at 1pm and Lautoka battles Suva at 3pm at Churchill Park.
Tailevu Naitasiri meets Nadi also at 3pm at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori.
Nadroga will host Navua next Thursday at 7pm at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.