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PNG women put through paces

The squad has been based at the Sir John Guise Stadium – built to host the ninth Pacific Games in 1991 – in Port Moresby, where Mune has been carefully putting his charges through their paces. A particular emphasis has been placed on monitoring fitness levels and Mune says more work needs to be done for the players to reach optimum levels of endurance.
“We have only two months to go and we still need to build on our fitness levels,” he says.
A squad of 23 players has already been selected and includes a large contingent of survivors from the side that finished second to New Zealand at the OFC Women’s Nations Cup in Auckland last year.
The players have been drawn from several areas across the country – there are seven from Lae, two from the Highlands, two from Kimbe and one from Madang. The capital city of Port Moresby dominates the list with a total of 11 players.
Mune is joined on the management staff by trainer Milton Gori, assistant coach Maggie Taligatus and manager Rose Obi.
Papua New Guinea swept almost all before them during the 2007 Games – the only hiccup being a 1-0 loss to Fiji – and are seen as the benchmark for women’s football in the island nations.
They are the only country outside of Australia (now part of the Asian Football Confederation) and New Zealand to mount a regular challenge for the OFC Women’s Nations Cup and finished third four times in a row (from 1991 to 2003) before coming runners-up in 2007 as hosts.
They held the Kiwis to a 2-0 win the last time the sides met for an Olympic Games qualifier three years ago.
A camp is expected to be held in Lae next month as Mune turns his attention to team structure, tactics and set pieces.
“I have planned to play fast football during the camp,” he says. “We want the players to learn to play quickly so they can unsettle their opponents. We will look to get the ball to the strikers as quickly as possible.”
The squad will finalise its preparations during a trip to the Gold Coast, Australia, in August before moving on to Noumea for the Games later that month.
Papua New Guinea women’s squad
Fidelma WATPORE (Lae)
Linda BUNAGA (Port Moresby)
Linah HONEAKII (Lae)
Agai MAX (Lae)
Ruth TURIA (Port Moresby)
Helen LEBONG (Kimbe)
Katherin SALAIAU (Port Moresby)
Janie NORI (Port Moresby)
Cecilia DOBBIN (Port Moresby)
Esther KURABI (Port Moresby)
Docas SESEVO (Lae)
Jaqlyne CHALAU (Port Moresby)
Deslyne SINIU (Port Moresby)
Suzan GURRA (Port Moresby)
Barbra MUTA (Kimbe)
Sandra BIRUM (Lae)
Pauline TURAKAUR (Wabag)
Zeena LIMBAI (Lae)
Ramona MORRIS (Madang)
Elen TAITO (Lae)
Ara MIDI (Goroka)
Samantha PENINSA (Port Moresby)
Francis MANDONI (Port Moresby)
Stand-by players:
Miriam LOMA (Port Moresby)
Defney FRANCIS (Madang)
Miriam LANTA (Port Moresby)
Georgina MALAGAU (Goroka)
Alexia STEPHEN (Madang)
Georgina KAIKAS (Madang)
For more on Papua New Guinea football go to www.pngfootball.com.pg

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