RAMSI is publishing Soccer in Solomon Islands a Goalkeeper's Guide, written by Solomon Islands' former national soccer team goalkeeper, Francis Aruwafu, as part of its 6th anniversary celebrations.

The book is the first written history of soccer in Solomon Islands, covering its beginnings in the country during the 1950s, to the first official national squad in 1963, the creation of the national league, the construction of Lawson Tama Stadium, as well as the country's famous 2-all draw against Australia in Adelaide, and the incredible welcome home the team received when they returned.

It also includes an extensive training program to help build the skills of Solomon Islands' budding goalkeepers.

RAMSI has sponsored the publication of the book, which will be distributed by the Solomon Islands Football Federation to soccer teams throughout the provinces, as part of the sixth anniversary of RAMSI's partnership with Solomon Islands.

Launching the book, RAMSI Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson said that the enthusiasm of Francis for his sport, his country and his people were evident from the book's very first page.

"Francis' research and dedication to Soccer in Solomon Islands: A goalkeeper's guide clearly reflects his commitment to his chosen sport,'' said Mr Wilson. "He is someone who puts his heart into whatever he does - whether on or off the pitch."

He noted that the training program outlined in the book would make Solomon Islands' goalkeepers the envy of the Pacific.

"In the core training guide section of the book, Francis has documented a program that is likely to make the goal-lines of many a future Solomon Island soccer team completely impenetrable."

Mr Wilson said that RAMSI's publishing of Soccer in Solomon Islands: A Goalkeeper's Guide was also a great way to mark RAMSI's sixth anniversary.

"Francis is a fine example of someone who has overcome great odds to achieve incredible things. His story reflects the progress and renewed optimism of his country over the past six years - and I congratulate him on becoming a published author," said Mr Wilson.

Francis Aruwafu, who also announced his retirement from soccer at today's book launch, said that he was immensely proud of the book - and hoped it would help many young Solomon Islands' soccer players achieve their best.

"I hope this book encourages young people to get involved in sport - giving them a sense of purpose and drive to succeed while also helping them enjoy being part of a team."

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