Nigel Malagian’s goal in the grand final on Saturday may be his last for his adopted club but for him he has achieved something worthy in life than just playing football for the club – a chance to complete his education.
Nigel spent two years with Tusbab Blue Kumuls doing grade 11 and this week, he is doing his final grade 12 exams, another proud moment for the club and his family.
When he graduates this Sunday, he will be part of the history for Tusbab Blue Kumuls players who have gone through this program – of giving a second chance to soccer athlete to get an education at the same time train and play soccer.
Like many young soccer talents, Nigel left school to pursue his soccer interest and could not continue on with his education. Fortunately for him, Tusbab Secondary School has given him a new lease of life – complete his education through an arrangement with Tusbab Blue Kumuls
Coach Rachel Wadunah said Tusbab Blue Kumuls had an arrangement with Tusbab Secondary School for soccer athletes to pursue their education while playing their trade in soccer but the player will have to play for the school team – the Tusbab Blue Kumuls.
The program was developed by the club’s coach Wadunah, who is also a teacher at the school and supported by the school principal, Alphonse Igag.
Nigel’s move to Tusbab Blue Kumuls in 2016 left many Nabasa fans furious. Many criticised him, even just before the grand final match calling him a traitor
It was thirty seconds before the final whistle of extra time of the men’s A League grand final when Malagian headed home the winner to send the Laiwaden fans into a frenzy.
Coach Wadunah praised Nigel for his leadership in securing the win for the club this season.
He was known to Madang Soccer Association as the ‘head butt’ specialist, building a reputation for himself as a specialist header who can unravel his taller opponents to win the ball in play.
Nigel has created history for himself and the club.
He scored 35 goals for the club this season and five of those goals were a traitor headers.