Matt and Paul were two twenty somethings with a dream: to play professional football. One problem, they were pants. Well, Paul was in shape and Matt had a back-heel or two in him but….they really weren't very good. So what should they do? Settle for anonymity? Eek out a life playing in the Sunday leagues on mud-bathed pitches in the darkest reaches of England? Where’s the glory in that?! So they cooked up an idea, find a professional team that would have them…any professional team…wherever that may be.
The tiny Pacific island of Pohnpei in Micronesia, population 36,000, had never one a game. Ever. Wikipedia labeled them as the weakest team in the world. If Matt and Paul joined this team, they could hardly make them worse. So off they went to live the dream of playing international football.
When they arrive on the verdant isle, they discover that this is not a place the live their dream but a place to help others live theirs. To win Pohnpei’s first ever game. This is real glory so Matt and Paul opt to coach having never coached a game in their lives (Pro Evolution Soccer aside).
Thus begins the greatest adventure two football fans could ask for. Two English fish completely out of water in a Pacific island culture they don’t understand with no funding, a population whose obesity rate is 90 percent and toad-infested facilities in one of the world's wettest climates. Matt and Paul must guide 16 islanders to reverse the course of history and realize their potential of being…no longer the weakest side in the world.
Matt Conrad was born in London to incurably patient parents. Mad about football and film making he graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in modern languages and founded the Edinburgh Movie Production Society. He then went to USC in Los Angeles and graduated from the Peter Stark MFA graduate program where he won the Stark Special Project Grant for the animated film "Traffic Cone". He has worked for Shine and Fox Digital. THE SOCCERMEN is his first feature documentary but not his last.
Paul Watson was born in Lethbridge, Canada in 1984. He grew up in Bristol and studied Italian at the University of Leeds. After graduation he worked on Channel 4's Football Italia website, ran a satirical football website called Back of the Net and co-wrote a radio show for Radio Five Live , before leaving for Pohnpei. He is the author of 'Up Pohnpei' and now lives in West London.
Meet the team!
Meet the team as they thank our terrific sponsor, the all-cargo airline Coyne Airways.