PORT MORESBY – Nambasa Football Club of Madang has lately jointed the National Soccer League (NSL) 2008/09 competition this year. The club will carry the hopes of Madang into this season’s expanded semi-professional league.
The Madang-franchise, jointly backed by businessmen Allan Bird and John Kambuaal, are the latest inclusion to fill the seventh spot in the NSL, while the eighth spot is still up for grabs.
The inclusion of Nambasa FC has raised the number of franchises to seven. The others are CMSS Tiger Rapatona, Hekari Souths, Welgris Highlander, Kikira Tuguba Laitepo and two newcomers, Eastern Stars and University Inter FC.
NSL chairman John Kapi Natto confirmed yesterday that Nambasa FC had joined the competition following a demand from major sponsor Telikom PNG.
“The major sponsor demanded that a team from Madang be included for marketing and promotional purposes,” Kapi Natto said.
He commended Telikom PNG and former PNG striker Tweedy Malangan, with the support of the two Madang businessmen, to enter a Madang team.
The chairman said Malangan submitted the expression of interest with the hope of gaining support from the Madang provincial government but the deadline lapsed last month.
However, the Madang-reared Milne Bay former soccer star did not give up until Telikom PNG demanded that NSL include a Madang club in this year’s competition.
Malangan thanked NSL board for their understanding and extended his gratitude to Telikom PNG for pushing for Madang to have a representative team in the NSL competition.
Kapi Natto said as chairman, he fully supported and appreciated Telikom PNG’s business strategies.
Three Port Moresby-based teams Rapatona, Hekari and University will host their home games in Port Moresby, while Kikira Tuguba and Welgris Highlanders will stage their home games in Lae.
Eastern Star FC of Milne Bay are also expected to host their games in Port Moresby and Alotau.
Meanwhile, Kapi Natto says the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has announced the dates of the 2009 OFC O-League in which Hekari Souths will represent PNG.
Hekari Southswere drawn into Group B alongside Ba (Fiji) and Koloale (Solomon Islands).
Group A consists of Waitekere FC (New Zealand), Auckland City FC (New Zealand) and Port Vila Sharks (Vanuatu).
Hekari Souths will play their first away game on Nov 22 against Kolale at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara, and host Fiji Ba on Dec 13.
Papua New Guinea will be represented at an OFC club championship tournament for the first time since 2006 when Sobou FC lost all three group matches before being eliminated.
The best performance by a Papua New Guinea club in the OFC club championship under its old format was by Unitech who defeated Labasa 3-1 and SC Lotoha’apei 5-2 in 2001.
Story courtesy PNGFA Media Officer Daisy Bowada
PNGFA NSL HISTORY
CHAMPIONS: PRK Souths United
Runners-up: Gelle Hills United
Fairplay Award: No award
Golden Boot Award: Kema JACK (PRK Souths)
PRK Souths United won the first edition of the PNGFA NSL staving off a firm challenge from highly rated rivals Gelle Hills United. PNG international striker Kema Jack finished top scorer for the season as his franchise helped itself to the inaugural title.
CHAMPIONS: Hekari Souths United
Runners-up: Gelle Hills United
Fairplay Award: Welgris Highlanders
Golden Boot Award: Kema JACK (Hekari Souths United)
PRK Souths United retained the PNGFA NSL Telikom Cup but under a new name: Hekari Souths United. Kema Jack’s eye for goal helped the newly renamed franchise to make it "two-in-a-row" with Gelle Hills United once again runners-up. Welgris Highlanders won the first ever PNGFA NSL Telikom Cup Fairplay Award.
PNGFA OFC O-LEAGUE HISTORY
Did Not Enter
vs. Napier City Rovers (NZL) lost 0-2
vs. SC Lotoha’apei (TON) won 5-2
vs. Labasa (FIJ) won 3-1
vs. Wollongong Wolves (AUS) lost 0-6
vs. Laugu United (SOL) lost 2-8
vs. Tuanaimato Breeze (SAM) won 5-0
vs. Tuanaimato Breeze (SAM) won 2-0
vs. AS Pirae (TAH) lost 1-5
vs. Sydney FC (AUS) lost 2-9
vs. Auckland City FC (NZL) lost 1-6
vs. Auckland City FC (NZL) lost 0-7
vs. AS Pirae (TAH) lost 0-7
vs. Marist FC (SOL) lost 1-7
Eliminated at preliminary stage