Women’s soccer veteran hangs up boots to officiate

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The National, 10th of April 2015

 MIRIAM Lanta, who has won three gold medals in women’s soccer at the Pacific Games, says she would have loved to defend the gold at home but age has caught up and she is now part of the team as an official.

The 42-year-old Sandaun woman was part of the team that won the gold medal in Noumea, New Caledonia, in 2011 and before that the veteran mid-fielder had been privileged to help her country claim the inaugural women’s soccer gold medal in 2003 in Fiji, before defending it in Apia, Samoa, in 2007.

“Regardless of my age, I can still play. I’m active in the local competitions in the city and other on the national competitions,” Lanta said. 

“I would have loved to play in front of the home crowd at this year’s Pacific Games but it did not happen that way.”

Lanta is the assistant team manager for the national women’s team and she said it was a role she has embraced and was excited about.

She started her soccer career in 1989 as a 16-year-old for the Royals club in the Port Moresby competition. In 1990 she played her first representative game in the national level for Port Moresby.

“I had natural ability and I trained well and that allowed me to build a career as a representative player while I was still a teenager.

“I remember making the national side in 1994 and playing in a regional qualifier at the Sir John Guise Stadium – that is one of my first memories of playing for the country.”

In 1996 Lanta helped PNG conquer all opposition to claim the Pacific Cup in Tonga.

She said the national soccer team would continue to be strong and claim the No.1 position in the Pacific and she did not see that changing at the Games.

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