‘Dunn’ deal for Navua kid | Fijian rep to remember late mother in first match

Thomas Dunn. Picture: SUPPLIED

From playing football with his cousins along the sandy beaches of Togoru in Navua to representing Fiji on the world stage in front of hundreds of spectators, Digicel Fiji Under-20 co-captain has seen it all.

But when the 20-year-old runs alongside the national team against Slovakia in their first pool game of the 2023 FIFA World Cup in South America, he will be remembering his late mother, who passed away last year.

“She was the one who encourages me, and push me in both my soccer and my school work.

If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” the Navua resident said.

Dunn started playing football as early as he can remember, and eventually went on to represent his Vashist Muni Primary side from under-10 to U14.

“From there I attended Vashist Muni College and played for the school from under-15 to U19.”

He went on to represent Navua from the U16 to the U19 as well before joining the Navua district side. Dunn will be thinking of his late mother today when he runs on to the field in their first pool match.

“It was her dream to one day see me play at a world cup. I just wish she was here to see me,” an emotional Dunn shared.

Dunn usually plays striker and midfielder and is known for his capability to score from both his left and right leg.

“The boys are very excited for our first game, and we just can’t wait to run onto the field and represent our country at the world cup.”

Growing up in a rural settlement far from the cities and urban areas where there was no electricity, Dunn said he was a huge fan of Fiji’s “Wonder Boy” Roy Krishna because he would hear commentators take about his style of play on the radio.

“We had no power at home when I was younger, so we never heard of overseas players. Instead, we would listen to the radio, and we would hear commentators talk about Roy Krishna.”

“But all I know is that when we play today, I will be giving my best and I will dedicate my first FIFA World Cup game to my mother.”

Fiji will play Slovakia at 9am in their opening match of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup today.

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