Solomon Islands Football Federation has appointed Lenard Paia as the federation new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) this week.
Paia, who has been working in the local football scene for the last 10 years put pen to paper on his contract on Monday.
Paia is a franchise owner of Real Kakamora and was a member of the Honiara Football Association (HFA) executive.
Speaking in a press conference yesterday, Paia said he is keen to take on the challenge because of his passion for football.
“I first applied for this job three years ago but my application wasn’t successful but I am excited to be given this opportunity this time around, “he said.
“I am more interested in the development of football in this country just like any other Solomon Islander.
“What inspired me to apply for this position is I see the CEO role is closer to the SIFF executive where they make important decisions on direction and the way forward in our football.
“So personally, it will be an opportunity where I could contribute towards decision making and implementation of the decisions made by the executive.”
He added that it will be a new and challenging role for him having in mind football is the national sport in Solomon Islands.
Paia take on the CEO role from acting CEO Felipe Vega-Arango who is also the our Technical Director.
Recently, the national football governing body had advertised its vacant positions and received an overwhelming interest from a number of qualified people.
Filling up other positions, Robert Sulimae and Eddie Rukumana were selected as suitable for the Referee Development Officer (RDO) and Youth Development Officer (YDO).
Sulimae is a local FIFA referee instructor who has been working with referees in the country over the years.
“I started involving with refereeing for more than 20 years now and I am determined to continue helping our local referees as the new RDO”, he said.
“Nearly eight times I had attended FIFA referee instructors abroad and our outgoing colleague has left so I decided to take on the role as the successful applicant.”
Former Solomon Islands international Eddie Rukumana said he challenge himself to take on the challenge knowing very well the expectations of the football mad Solomon Islanders.
“I think first I had a moment to think critically about this offer because I knew the burden that comes with this job and I will face a lot of criticisms”, the former Solomon Islands left back side.
“But it’s my passion as a former player to help our youths when they come through the age-groups.
“I have notice most of young players that I have worked with go on to represent the country and moved on to big clubs in the Telekom S-League.”
Rukumana had two assistant coaching role with the Solomon Islands national age-group teams.
He was the assistant for Batram Suri earlier in Tahiti this year where Solomon Islands missed a FIFA U-20 World Cup spot after a semi-final defeat at the hands of hosts Tahiti.
Rukumana is currently undertaking his OFC B-License course and was actively involved with Choiseul provinces football development programme for the last five years.
Outing SIFF RDO is Justine Mutukera and Rukumana replaced former Solomon Islands captain Henry Fa’arodo who was the former Youth Development Officer.