Canterbury continue PNG connection


CHRISTCHURCH: Canterbury United’s Papua New Guinea soccer recruit Nigel Dabingyaba is scoring for fun at the moment.
The 24-year-old committed to Canterbury before the start of the Stirling Sports Premiership, but bureaucracy and formalities halted his arrival, coach Willy Gerdsen said.
Dabingyaba lands in Christchurch on Friday in hot form after scoring two goals within five days on international duty for PNG against Iran and Malaysia this week.
At the Malaysian friendly tournament, PNG were hammered 8-1 by Iran, but gave a strong account of themselves against Malaysia, losing 2-1, with Dabingyaba a standout performer.
Gerdsen said he was unlikely to be available for Sunday’s match against Hawke’s Bay United in Napier given his limited time with the team and the fact he will have flown 26 hours via three time zones to New Zealand.
His debut should come the following week on Nov 27 against Hamilton Wanderers at English Park, whose side includes his PNG strike partner Raymond Gunemba.
Dabingyaba can play anywhere in the attacking third and his addition will put pressure on Matt Wiesenfarth and Juan Chang for starting spots up front.
Gerdsen said the extended national league, which consists of 18 round games, meant it was vital to have a larger squad than last season, which created flexibility and depth.
Dabingyaba won’t be the only PNG international in the Canterbury squad with 19-year-old central defender Felix Komolong making a strong impression in his two starts against Southern United and Auckland City. – Stuff

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