By ISAAC LIRI
LOOKING forward to the 2017 Q-Cup finals showdown, minor premiers PNG Hunters will have their finals preparations in Kimbe, West New Britain.
Coach Michael Marum clarified the reason for the retreat session, saying it was vital for their finals build-up and for the side to get away from distractions in Port Moresby.
After their 26-18 loss to the Tweed Head Seagulls last Sunday, the players took a three-day break and returned yesterday for gym sessions before they travel to Kimbe on today and return the following Friday (Sept 8) 48 hours ahead of their major semifinal against the Redcliffe Dolphins.
“We’ve got a plan in place for our preparations. We want the whole team to be away from the city so that full concentration is on our preparations,” Marum said.
“We’ll have training and bonding sessions. We will also visit the New Guinea Islands Confederate trials taking place this weekend and we will do some hospital and school visits as well.
“Everyone is excited about the trip and 22 players will travel except for Israel Eliab who will stay back for surgery on his fractured hand,” Marum said.
Marum said the Kimbe camp was designed to ensure his players were 100 per cent focused on their game against the Dolphins.
“We want to get the players away from distractions in the city so we can see what they’re doing.
“Many times we have no idea of what they’re doing after training and that has been a major issue for us this year and we have been trying to address it.
“It’s time for the finals now and preparations should go up another level because finals football is really different.
“We believe in our players but the main thing is preparations so we want to go out for a camp and come back with a fresh mindset.
“With the preparations moved to Kimbe, the players have seen how important preparations are going into the finals because everything they do has to be spot on,” Marum added.
Marum made mention of distractions not only an issue faced by the Hunters but in any professional club that works with developing players to become professionals.
“These problems are not only faced here in PNG but elsewhere in Australia in the NRL especially with young players and that is why we have routines to follow,” Marum said.
By ISAAC LIRI