Familiar faces in Samoa squad as they prepare for OFC Men’s Nations Cup

Followers of New Zealand’s regional leagues will recognise many names among the Samoan national team set to compete at June’s OFC Men’s Nations Cup.

Head coach Ryan Stewart — the director of football at Southern League club Nelson Suburbs — has pulled together a national squad with players drawn from leagues in New Zealand, Australia and further afield, as well as Samoa.

Eleven of Samoa’s 23-player squad play their club football in New Zealand.

Samoa face Tahiti, Fiji and Papua New Guinea in Group B matches to be played in Suva, while New Zealand face Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in Group A, to be played in Port Moresby, Vanuatu.

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Samoa reached the OFC Nations Cup after winning a qualification series with Tonga and the Cook Islands in March 2024.

Players to watch

Midfielder Jarvis Vaai is a former Hastings Boys High School and Havelock North Wanderers player whose talent earned him a place at the Fluminense Peru Academy in early 2022.

Head coach Ryan Stewart.

The academy is operated by Brazilian giants Fluminense.

Forward Kyah Cahill is the son of Socceroos legend Tim Cahill, who scored 50 goals in his 108 international appearances for Australia, and played more than 600 games for professional clubs, most notably Everton.

The younger Cahill has been with the Lusail Academy, in Doha, Qatar, and has opted to represent Samoa instead of Australia.

Team preparation

The Samoa squad have held a pre-tournament training camp in Auckland.

“Getting the players together was a real thing we wanted to work on after the Pacific Games, especially getting them together for a longer period,” coach Stewart told OFC Media.

“Playing games as well helps before a tournament, as you can end up playing three matches and then not see one another again for six months.”

Stewart said the squad would benefit by the addition of experienced players.

“The older players have all played at a decent level, both in Samoa and abroad, and with that comes experience. So it’s something that we will definitely be leaning on quite a bit throughout the tournament,” he said.

Samoa squad


Joel Bartley (19), Sydney United, Australia
Kirk Auvele (18), Vaivase-tai, Samoa
Paul Taupau (23), Franklin United, New Zealand


Luke Tolo-Kent (21), Roslyn Wakari, New Zealand
Taine Wilson (19), Nelson Suburbs, New Zealand
Andrew Setefano (36), Vaipuna, Samoa
Harry Chote (24), Miramar Rangers, New Zealand
Niko Steinmetz (24), Western Springs, New Zealand
Faiti Hamilton-Pama (31), Western Springs, New Zealand
Luke Salisbury (19), Roslyn Wakari, New Zealand


Kaleb De Groot-Green (22), Christchurch United, New Zealand
Jarvis Vaai (21), Lupo Ole Soaga, Samoa
Jesse Vine (21), club not listed
Dauntae Mariner (24), Nelson Suburbs, New Zealand
Caleb Hilbron (30), Island Bay United, New Zealand
Alex Malauulu (18), Canberra FC, Australia


Juan Gobbi (18), Sydney Olympic, Australia
Darcy Knight (24), Waiuku, New Zealand
Pharrell Trainor (17), TSV Schott Mainz, Germany
Greg Siamoa (20), Green Gully, Australia
Michael Tumua Leo (21), Vaipuna, Samoa
Dilo Tumua (24), Vaivase-tai, Samoa
Kyah Cahill (21), Lusail Football Academy, Qatar

Samoa’s fixtures

Game to be played on Sunday June 16, 2024

Tahiti v Samoa
HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, 1pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Wednesday June 19, 2024

Samoa v Fiji
HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, 7pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Saturday June 22, 2024

Samoa v Papua New Guinea
HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, 4pm (NZT)

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