Papua New Guinea has named its national women’s training squad to compete in the qualifiers for the Olympics games in Beijing.
PNG will have the benefit of hosting the one-off Olympic Qualifier against the Oceania women’s heavyweights New Zealand.
The match was originally planned to be a home and away qualifying series, but the change will see a one off match played at played at Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby on March
8, determine who will represent OFC at the Olympics.
Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) senior Vice-President and PNG Football Association President David Chung confirmed the change in the schedule yesterday.
The winner qualifies for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China in August this year.
PNG qualified by winning the first stage at last year’s South Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.
The gold medal win was the second for coach Francis Moyap and he will take charge of the team again.
Two weeks ago the training squad went through a final trial at the PNGFA Academy to trim the numbers.
Moyap yesterday said the news to play a one-off qualifier at home was a positive development in their Olympic Games aspirations.
“We have never beaten New Zealand…we won’t get a better chance than now,” he said.
Moyap agreed that despite the team still going through a re-building process, he remained positive that with the right line-up, attitude and preparation they would make a fight
He also confirmed the re-inclusion of the experienced Julie Alau, who was not available earlier due to work commitments.
“We have also named former youth international Esther Muta, but she has yet to confirm her availability,” he said.
The Port Moresby team members will be joined by the rest of the squad from other centres by Monday next week.
The 20-member squad is : Roxanne Komeng, Linda Bunaga, Kiwi Tova (goal-keepers), Caroline Moeder, Miriam Lanta, Samantha Peninsa, Helen Baki, Sakapu Mark, Martha Kiapen,
Catherine Kusunan, Katherine Saliau (defenders), Daisy Winas, Pauline Turakaur, Tracy Kig, Deslyn Siniu, Esther Muta, Julie Alau (mid-field/flankers), Cathy Agunan, Ara Midi, Lydia
OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifier
New Zealand v Papua New Guinea
Saturday March 8, 1400hrs.
Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby