By ISAAC LIRI
AFTER claiming the top prize in the 2016 Digicel Cup season, Lae Snax Tigers will begin their training for the Melanesian Cup and the 2017 season next month.
Lae Snax Tigers and PM’s 13 assistant coach Stanley Tepend, pictured, mentioned the importance of pre-season training as one of the key factors to the Tigers outstanding performance in the semi-professional competition this season.
“Our trials and pre-season starts on the first week of November and will finish at the end of December,” Tepend said.
In the meantime, Tepend says the players had been given time off but were told to keep fit as they aim to defend their title next season.
He also revealed that the club would likely lose some of its prominent players to other clubs and to the PNG Hunters programme next season, which is a big loss for the club, but on the other hand it provided the pathway for young upcoming juniors to make the team.
“Because we are a brand in PNG, our aim is to give everyone a chance and also develop more good players for PNG.”
“We will also be having an academy side this year and the best 20 players ranging from 15 to 18 year-olds in Lae schools will have an opportunity to be a part of that, so all in all it is going to be exciting for us,” Tepend said.
Before the Melanesian Cup challenge against the Fiji Vodafone Cup winner Police Sharks, and the 2017 Digicel Cup season, the club will participate in various tournaments.
“We have a rugby league nines tournament in Kimbe, Hagen and Lae and with a two-day camp in Port Moresby, Enga and Lae so it’s a packed off season for the boys,” he said.
He said a final 28-man squad would be announced in January and would later be trimmed down to 24 before they travel to Fiji.
By ISAAC LIRI