The 2012 OFC Nations Cup was set to be Tamatoa Wagemann’s international swansong only for the unexpected victory in Honiara to open up an opportunity to end a long career by rubbing shoulders with the world’s best at the Festival of Champions.
A powerfully-built and strong presence in the heart of the defence, Wagemann has enjoyed a distinctive career in comparison to most of his national team colleagues, having played in a variety of European leagues.
He departed his homeland at the age of 16 linking with the youth academy at RC Strasbourg. He spent a year playing in France’s fourth tier for FC Haguenau, before donning the colours of Waldhof Mannheim in Germany’s second division for half a season. He continued his career with lower league outfits Eintracht Bad Kreuznach and SV Linx, before heading to Switzerland and FC Alle.
After three years in Switzerland he returned to France and played with Cholet, where he became credentialed as a personal trainer as football became just a hobby.
Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta encouraged a return home and the 33-year-old has been a regular in the national team squad over the past year.
Yet another that plays for champions AS Dragon where he has enjoyed game time in the heart of the defence alongside Tahiti skipper Nicolas Vallar.