By HENRY MORABANG
THE Papua New Guinea Under-20 women’s soccer coach Lisa Cole will use the final tour of New Zealand to fine-tune her combinations as they prepare for the Federation of the International Football Associations (Fifa) U20 Women’s World Cup next month.
The U20 women are scheduled to play the New Zealand U20 team on Oct 30 and the NZ development team on Nov 2 and Nov 5.
The PNG coach is hoping for one other game in Port Moresby early next month before the World Cup.
Cole urged Papua New Guineans to respect her young charges and not expect too much from them as they would be making their debut at the World Cup stage. “The country must understand our level of football is not as competitive as that of other countries but I urged them to come and support the girls during the tournament,” Cole said.
Except for number one choice goalkeeper Abigayle Metta, all the players are 100 per cent fit and are looking forward for the New Zealand tour and the upcoming tournament.
“Metta is back with the team but not at 100 per cent. We are not sure what will happen with her at this point,” Cole said.
She is expected to finalise the roster for the World Cup before the team leaves for New Zealand on Oct 27.
The coach said there wre several players who have made big improvements during their camp and the tour of South Korea and US.
Outstanding players include Ramona Padio who is likely to start as attacking midfielder who will be assisted by Wau product Belinda Giada.
Buka girl Nicollette Ageva is a bright prospect for the team from the flanks and so is ball-hungry Milne Bay player Jacqueline Mayosi.
Others who will be competing for the position include Loretta Yagum, Selina Unamba and Esmeralda Waipo.
Defenders Margaret Joseph and Hilde Nake are front runners for the positions while Christ Mato, Martha Karl and Gloria Laeli will also be contesting for selection in that department.
Cole said the trip to New Zealand was a make or break for the girls to secure spots.
By HENRY MORABANG