Havana Solaun, the midfielder for the Reggae Girlz who made history with her goal against Australia at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament in France, has signed on with the Apollon Ladies FC in Cyprus. Solaun, who was born in Hong Kong, to a Jamaican mother and a Cuban-American father, is 27, and she says she is eager to return to playing after her contract with the Paris FC was terminated because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She had signed with Paris FC in January of 2020 and was unable to join the Division One team for the 2020-2021 season due to complications in the processing of paperwork that resulted from the pandemic. A one-year contract deal with the Cypriot team was then offered at the perfect time as Solaun was “at her wits’ end” with not being able to compete since the Olympic Qualifiers earlier in 2020. She said she has been training since then, but COVID-19 presented challenges to her plans to travel to France. She terminated that contract and then found finding another long-term team association difficult. She remained focused on staying in shape and ready to play when an opportunity presented itself, however. Her agent found the Apollon Ladies FC after her previous contract had been impacted.
The Apollon Ladies FC was established in 2007, and it is the top club in Cyprus. It is a ten-time winner of the Cypriot First Division title, taking the double nine consecutive times. The squad also won the Cypriot Super Cup seven times. The team made headlines following it victory over the two-time Umeå IK, the European champions, during its second appearance in the Champions League. This was described as one of the biggest upsets in the history of European women’s football. While Apollon has gone beyond the qualifying stage in three previous seasons, it has yet to surpass Round 32. However, with the addition of Solaun and some others, this could be the season that moves the team further along.
The Reggae Girl admits it will be a challenge to join a new group of girls and learn a new style of play, but notes that there is sufficient time before the team’s first Champions League game to forge a team identity by working together. She says that signing with Apollon Ladies provides her with the perfect chance to return to training with a team and play some games, adding that she is physically and mentally ready for competition and has what it takes to play at a high level. Her overall goal is to place herself in challenging situations in order to grow as a player and as a person.