Wednesday, 3 August 2011 12:29 PM

Whetney Heads to Turkey

Our very own Kurukuru star, Jack Whetney will leave Solomon Islands for Turkey in an attempt to pick up a professional contract to play the 11-a-side version of the game.

Wetney, a national hero for his exploits with the country's futsal side, has a trial lined up with Turkish second-tier club Giresunspor while giants Galatasary are also rumoured to be interested in checking out his skills.

The opportunity has been arranged by Wetney's agent, Sydney-based Kaan Kandemir, and was made possible with the help of Yoshi Sato, the Turkish honorary consular in Solomon Islands and the man responsible for finalising the hopeful's travel documentation.

"This is a rare opportunity for Solomon Islands football and, if Jack does well, it will open the gateway for our local football talents," Sato says.

"I have played my part and now it is up to Jack to prove himself."

Whetney, 21, has carved out a reputation as one of the finest futsal players in Oceania but is also starting to make an impact on a full-sized field. He is a member of the Solomon Islands squad preparing for the upcoming Pacific Games and was a key player for Amicale as the Vanuatu club made it to the final of the 2011 O-League.

Mapuru Tausinga, manager of the Kurukuru national futsal team, believes the skilful striker has the ability to make an impact in Turkey and says he has a responsibility to give a good account of his talents.

"The trials will be tough but our only hope is that he makes it through and not only creates history for this country but opens the door for our young upcoming talents," Tausinga says.

Of the two sides said to be showing an interest in his services, Wetney has a stronger chance of signing a contract with Giresunspor, a former Turkish Super League side who now play in the Bank Asya Birinci Lig, the country's second division.

In contrast, Galatasaray is one of the biggest clubs in world football and have a proud history of international and domestic success.

It is one of the three European clubs to ever achieve a continental quadruple, by winning the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, the Turkish Super League Championship and the Turkish Cup in 2000.

Wetney is not the first talented Solomon Islander to try his luck at a professional career overseas. Benjamin Totori and Judd Molea headed to the USA and France respectively but both returned empty-handed.

Totori saw his time at the Portland Timbers cut short due to injury while Molea was not offered a contract after brief stints at Lyon and Strasbourg.