Photo Credit PNGFA

Papua New Guinea have high hopes heading into the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament-Oceania Qualifier in Samoa next week.

The PNG side won its sixth Pacific Games gold medal in Honiara in December and is one of the sides expected to challenge tournament favourites New Zealand.

There’s a new coach at the helm, Hekari United mentor Eric Komeng was originally named as an assistant but has been elevated to head coach due to the unavailability of Frederica Siwin-Sakete. Komeng knows the players well with 14 from his successful club side in the traveling party.

Komeng has retained the bulk of the players from the Pacific Games winning side and they’ve had a good build-up, training together for the past three weeks in Port Moresby.

‘We have a strong squad but realise we are in a tough group with the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and American Samoa. Fiji will be out for revenge after our 4-1 win over them in the final of the Pacific Games.”

(Photo Credit PNG FA Cynthia Bangita one of the new players in the squad)

Komeng is also excitedly looking forward to the possibility of playing New Zealand should his team go deep into the tournament.

“Playing the favourites in hot humid conditions in Apia is an advantage for us.” Komeng said.

Former captain Ramona Padio is missing the tournament for personal reasons.

The full squad is as follows:

Fidelma Watpore
Faith Kasiray
Lavinia Hola

Anastasia Gunemba
Raynatha Samuel
Serah Waida
Georgina Bakani
Olivia Upaupa
Merolyn Sali
Fidorah Namuesh


Mavis Singara
Rumona Morris
Phylis Pala
Christie Maneu
Hortance Kimit
Aileen David


Marie Kaipu
Cynthia Bangita
Karen Kalapai
Nenny Elipas
Calista Maneo
Michaelyne Butubu
Arnolda Dou