Twenty-two-year-old Papua New Guinean, Gimale Essacu who currently plays for Western Illinois University in the United States is excited to receive the call to play for his at the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2019.
“It’s my fourth year playing in the US and the level is very high but I’m excited to play alongside the boys together as a team,” Essacu said.
“We have a very good group of boys in the team which are very young and talented.”
“Our aim is to win the group stages and see what happens next.”
Essacu debuted for Papua New Guinea at 2015 Pacific Games which doubled as an Olympic Qualifier and saw them advance to the semi-final. This is his second qualifying campaign and he is now lot older.
He is one of two overseas-based players initially named in the squad. Essacu’s fellow countryman, Felix Komolong, withdraw due to school commitment.
Essacu transferred from Otero Junior College in his junior year to Western Illinois University. In his freshman year (2016), he was named in the All Region IX after scoring five goals and assisted another five.
“I believe that the goal for this year’s U-23 team will be to push out of the group stage and see what happens. Football’s a crazy game so you really never know, especially once we get out of the group stage.” Essacu said.