The National, Thursday July 19th, 2012
By HENRY MORABANG
PAPUA New Guinea international Koriak Upaiga is the latest home-grown player to secure a contract with Sunshine Coast FC in the tough Queensland State League competition.
Koriak will join the Muta brothers – David and Cyril – in the far north for the reminder of the season.
Sunshine Coast Fire FC administrator Robyn Chapman confirmed from Australia her club had three PNG players. Koriak is the last player to fill the vacant visa player spot the club’s roster.
“Kori has an outstanding history playing in the PNG National Soccer League and in the Oceania League,” she said.
“He is a national player and will fill the vacant visa player spot the club has on its roster.
“Kori is a defender with a reputation as a very strong header of the ball as well as having an excellent turn of speed.”
Koriak and David Muta play for PNG champion club, Hekari United in the semi-professional competition in the country, while Cyril, a former Hekari signing, plied his trade with Eastern Stars.
PNG Football Association vice president John Kapi Natto said he was proud of Upaiga for getting a contract from an overseas club.
He said the NSL competition had really helped local players to move overseas.
Two other Hekari players –Kema Jack and Wira Wama –will join Labasa, in Fiji, for this weekend’s Battle of the Giants tournament there.
They will join their Fijian Hekari contingent of Maciu Dunadamu, Ilaitia Tuilau, Pita Bolatoga and Taniela Waqa to play.
The Fijian quartet has been starring in Papua New Guinea with Hekari in recent months.
Labasa’s new team will be looking to build on the triumph of October’s Inter-District Championship (IDC) that Labasa won for the first time in 17 years after beating Ba 1-0 in the final with a Dunadamu goal.
Interim president Bhim Raj Reddy confirmed from Labasa, Fiji that the two players are all clear to feature for the club as requested by Fiji FA, and received their International Transfer Ticket (ITC)
Jack and Wama will be the second lot of players moving to Fiji.
The first two players were Eliude Fugre and Paschal Wojem, who played for Rewa last year.