Vaja Neil

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Vaja Neil
Personal information
Full nameVaja Neil
Year of birth1979
Place of birthMatbaa City, Matbaa
Playing positionMidfield
Senior career
YearsTeamApps(Gls)*
2006–07Tokidoki Rillanon Reflex
2007Craitland Osĵätoņ Aztecs FC (loan)
2007–15Craitland Osĵätoņ Aztecs FC
National team
2007–08Matbaa Matbaa
2008Kefr Zeh Kefr Zeh
2009Ashkenatza Ashkenatza
2009–13Mahoz HaSephardim Mahoz HaSephardim
2013–15Haifa Haifa
* Appearances (Goals)
Player has received at least one call-up for any emboldened national teams

Vaja Neil is a Matbaic former-footballer who last played for Osĵätoņ Aztecs FC. A central midfielder, he previously represented his homeland of Matbaa, the short-lived Kefr Zeh and Mahoz HaSephardim, and was a part of the former's winning squad at CiboTap 2007.

Career

Club

Neil's first professional club was Rillanon Reflex in Tokidoki, whom he joined as a 27 year-old and made a strong impact in his first season. After impressing scouts from Craitish side Osĵätoņ Aztecs FC, Neil was signed on a loan deal ahead of the 2007 season and was given the number 19. Although he faced competition for a starting role, Neil found himself a regular in midfield alongside Adám Perryman and Yaqin Senovichi, and helped the club to second place and a cup win, where his two late goals in the quarter-finals gave the team a 6–4 victory over rivals Cherry Trees FC. At the end of the season, both the Aztecs and Neil himself expressed desire to make the move permanent, and a Cr 10 million deal was agreed in the summer for Neil to break the Craitish transfer record, with Jón Zyxveldtsen permanently moving in the opposite direction following a successful loan spell in Rillanon.

After a trophy-less season in 2008, Neil founded a new central midfield partnership with new signing Jean-Pierre d'Oliviera the following year, and played an integral role in winning his first league title. Although the Aztecs failed to win any silverware over the following two seasons, Neil was an important member of the team as they finished as runners-up in the league both times and also reached the final of the Champions' League. Due to reaching the Champions' League final, the team qualified for the 2012 FMF Champions' League, where Neil played a supporting role as they become the first ever winners, despite only managing a fifth-place finish in the league.

Now into his 30s, Neil was used less frequently by the Aztecs, but was a valued squad member as he won a second league title in 2013, before the acquisition of Vän Vanisen made his starting line-up chances even slimmer the following year. After one further year with the Aztecs, in which they won the 2014–15 WMFA Cup, Neil announced his retirement, aged 36, at the culmination of the season alongside long-term teammates Paulio Demhivo, Tommy Hjansen and Yaqin Senovichi.

International

Having spent a number of years living in Tokidoki, Neil had received Tokish citizenship and was touted as a potential international player, but ultimately chose to represent Matbaa in early 2007. Neil was included in Matbaa's 2007 CiboTap Championships squad and played a supporting role as they won the final on penalties. Neil played in the 2007 FMF World Cup later in the year as Matbaa were eliminated at the group stage.

After an unsuccessful qualifying campaign in 2008 with his home nation, Matbaa was declared dead and Neil gained eligibility for the newly-founded Babkhan territory of Kefr Zeh, and represented them later in the year as they also failed to make the finals.

Neil became eligible to represent the Ashkenatzi territory of Mahoz HaSephardim in 2009, alongside a number of former-Matbaics, whose side failed to reach a tournament finals up until 2012. After helping the team to the 2012 FMF World Cup, where they could only be knocked-out in the group stage, Neil played a primary role in helping them to the 2012 Copa Apollonia final, scoring a semi-final equaliser, where they lost to Novatainia.

The following year, Neil continued to be involved in a dominant qualifying campaign as the team topped their group. In both the subsequent Copa Apollonia and World Cup finals, the team had the misfortune of missing-out on advancing from their group by virtue of goal difference. Neil did, however, score the only goal in a win over eventual runners-up Mercury in the latter.

Later in 2013, Mahoz HaSephardim left the FMF due to Ashkenatza being declared dead. Neil gained eligibility to represent Haifa, but rejected any further call-ups prior to his retirement in 2015.

Honours

Matbaa


Osĵätoņ Aztecs FC

Personal life

Neil was born in Matbaa, but moved to Tokidoki for college as a teenager. His younger brother, ten years his junior, is winger Aprem Neil.