By ZACHERY PER
A LACK of fitness and disciplinary problems are main factors that need to be properly addressed to prepare PNG sports teams for international fixtures, head coach of PNG Under-20 women’s soccer team Lisa Coles says.
She pointed this out at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in Goroka as her team resumed training after a short recess from a month-long United Sates trip.
Coles said when they started training in February, 40 players were identified and were in camp, but as they progressed in training, nearly half the team have left due to fitness and discipline issues.
There are 24 players remaining from the initial camp and are at training in Goroka, going through tough fitness tests and endurance training sessions.
“You have to be fit to play at international level,” Coles said.
She said her girls were picking up well in nutrition improvement, sleep habits and recovery exercises.
She expressed confidence in the team as they head toward their first Group A game against Brazil on Nov 13.
They next meet Sweden on Nov 16 and then North Korea on Nov 20.
“For the first months, we focused on soccer, going from a bunch of individuals to teamwork.
“We are putting together a team that we hope will do well,” Coles said.
She, however earlier said that the girls would have to press for their positions and it would be tough preparations in the final weeks leading to the Nov 13-Dec 3 event in Port Moresby.
Some former PNG representative players making an impact at the training are Ramona Padio, Yvonne Gabong, Gloria Laeli and Jacobeth Bani.
By ZACHERY PER