The Pacific Games will take place in Noumea during August and September and Farina believes there is enough talent at his disposal for Papua New Guinea to have a realistic chance of taking the title.
But he says getting his team together on the park regularly will be the key to achieving that goal.
“It’s difficult for any country with not much competition at an international level and Papua New Guinea hasn’t been playing any games lately,” Farina says. “We will need to have some lead up matches before we go to the Pacific Games.”
The former coach of the Socceroos, the Australia national team, has taken in some of the action from the Telikom National Soccer League (NSL) and says the competition has helped keep his players sharp and in good shape.
He was in Port Moresby last weekend to watch the NSL semi finals but says even high intensity clashes like those do not measure up to international competition.
Farina says there is enough quality in Papua New Guinea to work with and that players from the Pacific can forge successful careers if they are exposed to high-class opposition more regularly and receive the benefit of good coaching.
“Football is football, wherever in the world it is played.” he says. “In places like Europe and South America, they are much more competitive because they play fulltime professional football.”
The national squad for the Pacific Games has not yet been selected but Farina is set to reveal a group of names following the NSL final this weekend. Between 30 and 40 players will be named but this number will be trimmed down to a final 23 to travel to the Games.
Farina is keen to take his time to make sure the right players are selected and sees no reason to rush through his plans.
“From my experience with the Socceroos, you do not appoint a team four or six months out because you could lose them to injury, fitness and other commitments,” he says.
“We will wait and select the team after the NSL finals. We have enough time to prepare so won’t be rushing at the last minute.”
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