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Lae City prepared for Hekari United challenge

Papua New Guinea captain Alvin Komolong and goalkeeper Ronald Warisan will both feature for Lae City FC. Phototek.

Lae City FC head coach Bob Morris is hopeful their deep roster of talent has what it takes to get the better of Hekari United in their crucial OFC Champions League National Playoff this weekend.

Lae City have been in training camp since May for this fixture and have played four local friendly matches.  While their head coach Morris admits a lack of competitive action is not ideal, he says his team will be ready.

“Our preparation for the playoff is on target and we are more than prepared for this game,” said Morris.

“We have won all our build up friendlies but against weaker teams so our lead-up now is basically putting players into game mode after a long break and also to trial our new recruits.”

Lae City have signed PNG national team striker Mathew David and former U-16 international wide-man Bruce Tiampo to strengthen their attack but fellow recruit Pala Paul is likely to be unavailable due to an issue with his transfer from Gulf Komara FC.

Despite the absence of their new signing, Morris is confident his squad will have the talent required to push Hekari United.

“I still have enough of an arsenal of players to rely on,” said Morris.

Many of the players expected to start in Morris’s side will be well-known to followers of football in the OFC region.

Experienced Papua New Guinea international goalkeeper Ronald Warisan will be tasked with keeping Hekari United at bay. The presence of Kapuls international captain Alwin Komolong and his brother Felix will no doubt help in defence. Emmanuel Simon, Stahl Gubag and Jonathan Allen will also feature but Hekari United have done some recruitment of their own and Morris is very respectful of his opposition.

“I have confidence with my boys they have experience but so do Hekari United. I respect them and they have also recruited some of the best players in the country and have experience in the Champions League OFC so it will go down to the wire.

“The team with the winning mentality will come out victorious.”

Papua New Guinea’s OFC Champions League National Playoff between Lae City and Hekari United kicks off at 3pm local time on Saturday, June 25 at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby with the winner qualifying for the OCL finals.

LIVESTREAM | OCL 2022 NATIONAL PLAYOFF | LAE CITY FC v HEKARI UNITED FC

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