PORT MORESBY – The uncertainty surrounding the future of PNGFA NSL franchise Gelle Hills FC looks set to continue. Gelle Hills FC finished runners-up in 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons but time is fast running out for club officials and administrators to prove the NSL’s bridesmaids’ have what it takes to line-up alongside the best football teams in Papua New Guinea.
But Gelle Hills FC officials believe they have now secured big backing from a Brisbane-based millionaire. The team was earlier thrown out of the semi-professional PNGFA NSL competition after failing to meet statutory requirements demanded by NSL officials last year.
The NSL board will screen Gelle Hills FC as well as Sepik FC franchises at a board meeting before they announce the final composition of the NSL heading into the new season.
Gelle Hills FC franchise owner Wilfred Vali says his team will be backed by Rob Jones, the part-owner of Brisbane Roar in A-League, Australia, and also the co-owner of Redland City Devils in Queensland State League (QSL).
Vali said Gelle Hills FC aimed to secure three players from Australia to be part of the new-look set-up with pay for their accommodation and return airline tickets for all Hills’ overseas recruits taken care of with financial assistance from backers.
This would be the first time Australian players have played in the Papua New Guinea NSL competition, although the foreign influence has already been keenly felt with players from Solomon Islands making regular appearances since the competition’s inception two years ago.
Tiger Rapatona FC have continued the foreign theme and acquired the services of a South Korean coach and player, who are due to arrive in the country to help prepare for the 2008/09 NSL season.
NSL Entry Fees Late
To date only Rapatona FC have paid their K75,000 fee – and are already well-advanced in recruitment for players.
The deadline for the first lodgment of K40000 was September 5, while the final payment of the balance for K75000 is October 3.
Clubs who had yet to pay were 2009 O-League representatives, Hekari Souths United FC, Welgris Highlander, Gigira Morobe FC, Eastern Stars FC, University Inter FC and Nabasa FC.
Gelle Hills United and Sepik FC have yet to submit details of their franchise infrastructure for the NSL board.