Marist Football Club
Robert Laua has firmly established himself as Alonso’s first choice left back for the Solomon Islands national team since his debut game against Fiji and two World cup qualifiers against Papua New Guinea. It has been a remarkable rise for the Polynesian lad from “LORD HOWE ISLAND” who has recently become a consistent performer at the left back and whose passion and work ethic have seen him touted as one of the well-disciplined player. Hailed from one of the most remote island in Solomon islands, “LORD HOWE” robert laua can recall his early years growing up at the Mamana Water settlement, nobody could have predicted how things would turn out for him, he is now one of the most established players in Alonso’s new look side, having started 4 international games this month, and has been the key part of the team.
With a promise of yet more dominant displays to come when Solomon Islands take on New Zealand on August 28th and September 5th, there’s no doubt that fans across the country have plenty to look forward to from Robert Laua.
Below we take an in-depth look at Laua’s story so far.
Beach Soccer (2009-2013)
Robert Laua has started his playing career as a beach soccer player. He was part Solomon Islands national beach soccer team commonly known as the ‘Bilikiki’ from 2009 to 2013. And at just 17 in 2009, Robert Laua has his beach soccer career whole ahead of him where he has proved his incredible talent in the Beach soccer world cup 2009 Dubai. It was a memorable world cup debut for 17year old as his stunning hat trick helped Solomon Islands upset the South American giants Uruguay 7-6.
2013 beach soccer World cup was yet another milestone in his career playing a key role in a 2-0 win over Netherlands in group stages.
After the 2011 OFC futsal world cup qualifier in Fiji, Robert has decided to try futsal, start attending Kurukuru futsal trainings who are preparing for the FIFA Futsal world cup Thailand 2012 that time.
He was one of those new players who joined the training squad, competing with the star studded Kurukuru side for a spot in the final team. However after months of world cup build up, laua unfortunately could not make the final cut, he was included in the non-travelling list.
Laua then turned his focus to the 2016 Fifa Futsal world cup Colombia. He trained with the team under the guidance of new Brazilian coach Juliano schmeling. Laua was in the Kurukuru team that successfully won the OFC futsal world cup qualifier last year (2016). He was a more complete Futsal player this time whose prime objective was to play in a futsal world cup Colombia September 2016.
Laua was included in the kurukuru world cup team, who went on to play warm-up matches against the futsalroos and later Brazil, however while in Brazil just weeks before world cup, Laua had a serious injury which ruled him out for the rest of the tournament. It was a disappointing moment for the young lad.
Despite having successfully made his mark in beach soccer and Futsal, Laua find it quit difficult to make the 11 aside breakthrough. Young Laua has joined koloale pre-season trainings in 2009 but could not make the first team not until 2013. After 4years of waiting, he finally earned his place in the first team in season 2013-2014. On the following season 2014-2015, Robert laua was deployed as main forward for the young koloale side. Laua’s main strengths lies on his speed and attacking abilities as he is a more natural winger.
Laua joined Marist from local rival Koloale at the beginning of new season 2015-2016 and become one of those first new arrivals when Juilano Schmeling first arrived to lead Marist. Once Laua found his rhythm, he never looked back. His energy and quickness of thought soon shown throughout the season. His with first season with Marist was incredible as he featured in all competitive fixtures heading Marist attacking front. The newly reformed Marist side ended the season on 3rd position on the league table.
2016-2017 was a memorable season for Marist FC as the club eventually become champions of Telekom S-League. Despite being labelled as our most successful season, Robert Laua has faced a difficult situation in the mid-season. He was slowly recovering from a major injury he got during the Futsal World cup warm up. Laua couldn’t make instant impact after recovering from his injury, also there’s stiff competition on his preferred position (left midfield) which reduced his opportunities in the first team. Robert laua has never played as left back in his entire career, however prior to Marist’s OFC champions league campaign early this year, the club realize that they had only one natural left back in the team, the papua new Guinea international Koriak Upaiga, and there’s a need for back-up left-back. That was the very moment Marist Coach Juliano opted to try him at the left back position. During the OFC champions league campaign, he was introduced as substitute in all 3 group matches.
National Team (2017)
Laua’s inclusion to the national team came as a surprise to many including previous managers who led the national team as no one expected him to be Felipe’s first choice. In his first international debut against Fiji friendly early this month, Laua showed further signs that he was becoming a more complete player and was successfully adapting to the physical demands of the defensive third. His performance during the two recent qualifying matches against Papua New Guinea was impressive. While he choose not to venture forward more often with his new role, his abilities lies in attack. The 25 year old has enjoyed a fantastic rise to become Alonso’s first choice left back for the National team. To think someone like Robert Laua become Solomon Islands next top full back is unthinkable, but for him, it’s well in his sights. Laua is simply making the most of each opportunity.