Words: ACFC Media
Tuesday 6 November 2018
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC says farewell to departing special projects manager David Firisua as he takes up a new role with FIFA.
The former Solomon Islands international and Central United player joined the club three seasons ago to take on a variety of managerial roles and during his tenure was part of a successful run that saw two OFC Champions League titles, an ISPS Handa Premiership title, two Charity Cup wins, two trips to the FIFA Club World Cup and a memorable victory at the Nike Lunar New Year Cup in Hong Kong.
Auckland City FC chairman Ivan Vuksich was sad to see Firisua go but said the opportunity set before the one-time head of competitions at OFC was too good to ignore.
"David did a wonderful job at Auckland City FC and we're sad to see him go but delighted for him personally as he has landed a great opportunity with FIFA.
"David is studious, methodical and respected by everyone in the game for his meticulous approach to complex projects and his track record of improving administrative tasks and getting
results is exemplary.
"He made my life a lot easier with his eye for detail and thoroughness in everything he does - he's an ambassador for the sport of football and given a lot to the club in his time here.
"It's very rare you get an administrator with an innate understanding of football and this is in large part due to his experience as a player.
"We've enjoyed having David as part of the Auckland City FC family and wish him every success in the future," Vuksich said.
Coach Ramon Tribulietx also wished Firisua well.
"David is a huge loss to the team and to the club and everything about his involvement with Auckland City FC is a positive.
"He's a fantastic individual and a top professional and that's helped us not only in big moments at the FIFA Club World Cup but also during the ISPS Handa Premiership and OFC Champions League campaigns.
"David's organisational skills are very good on big projects but also when he is on the ground at training making sure everything is right for the players which is important because of the way we train.
"David organisies everything about our preparation down to the smallest detail. We're going to miss David but I understand he wants to move on in his life and he's got a very good opportunity working with FIFA.
"We talked within the team on Saturday and all the players gave David an unbelievable round of applause which tells you everything about him. "I can only wish David all the best for his future opportunity with FIFA because his delivery, his efforts, his manner with us has been tremendous - he's humble, professional and very honest which is not always easy to find in football," he said.
Captain Angel Berlanga said Firisua would be missed by the playing squad.
"The players will miss David as a professional but most importantly as a person. He was an unbelievable fit for the team since day one and a good person to have around.
"He’s been a good character to have in our group and have a good banter with. His positivity and the way he carries himself is admirable and he is the kind of person that would never hesitate to do whatever it was in his hands to help anyone.
"Sometimes we think that players and coaches are the people that make a club bigger but it's easy to forget that sometimes we don’t recognise the work put in behind the scenes in order to achieve success.
"In that regard, I think David has done a lot to get Auckland City FC where it is today. I was want to wish him and his family all the best in his new role. I think he deserves this opportunity and I’m sure he will be outstanding - he was always patient with the squad and everyone appreciated his efforts," Berlanga said.
Firisua was typically humble in his reflections of his time with Auckland City FC.
"My best memory on the pitch would be the Nike Lunar New Year Cup when we beat FC Seoul to win the competition. To see our team competing with and beating professional clubs to win that trophy was very special.
"Kiwitea Street on match day is a very special place and I always enjoyed meeting our people and saying hello to them. The club means a lot to people and it was a privilege to have that contact each week.
"The opportunity with FIFA is another opportunity for me in the game to work with our people for the governing body of football and in our combined efforts to promote and develop football in this part of the world. I'm very excited by the challenge.
"It's been an absolute pleasure working with everyone at the Auckland City FC and sharing everything with them on this beautiful journey.
"It's a wonderful set up where everyone does their absolute best, looking to add value where they can.
"It's a family with a bright future and I wish our chairman Ivan Vuksich, Terry Kennelly, the Board, Ramon, his staff, and the team all the very best," Firisua said.
Name: David Firisua
Born: Honiara, Solomon Islands
International caps: 5
International goals: 1
Former clubs: Koloale FC (Solomon Islands), Central United (New Zealand), Ngaruawahia United (New Zealand), Mangere United (New Zealand)
FIFA Development Office 2018
Auckland City FC Special Projects 2015-2018
OFC Head of Competitions 2009-2013
FIFA U-20 World Cup
Local Organising Committee FIFA Club World Cup 2015, 2016 (Japan), 2017 (UAE)
Sports Technical Committee - Pacific Games 2011
President Auckland Solomon Islands Community
Sun 20 Jan 2018, kick-off 4.35pm NZST, Napier