The National, Friday 14th of February, 2014
By JACK AMI
PAPUA New Guinea is building up to the defence of the gold medal they won at last year’s Mini Pacific Games in Wallis and Futuna.
Amoa, dubbed the giant killers, after that performance has announced a strong 30-men training squad to immediately start preparations.
The PNG Volleyball Federation has its sights set on the Oceania Volleyball Championship in June in Port Moresby to gauge their programmes ahead of next year’s Pacific Games where they hope to emulate the Wallis and Futuna heroics.
The training squad will be put under an intensive strategic high performance training programme to defend the gold medal they plucked off dual gold medalist Wallis and Futuna.
PNGVF president Bernard Alu said all the players from the Wallis and Futuna gold winning team have been retained with an additional 18 players to give them a nice blend of youth and experience.
Alu said the selection of players was based on three key elements – height, individual skill sets and attitude.
Undisputed premier association and 10-time PNG national men’s title holders Vabukori have again dominated the squad with 11 players.
Amoa train-on squad: Ravu Mahuru, Tuvi Kapa, Tau Muri, Eric Itama, Veupu Kila, Kala Kila, Forova Miki, Jeffery Charlie, Manley Gima, Junior Taera, Junior Harold (VAVA), Joseph K, Joe, Joel Kohi and Philip Naleng (Huon Gulf). Oggie Lelesi, Charlie Maino, Gladstone Ela (Fairfax), George David, Richard Kila, Mathew Alu, John Lausi, Jason Nauga, Veleke Kila (NCD), Kato Ben Otio, Gary Udia, Billy Anton (Tatana),Alupei (Hula), Geoffrey Gima (Alotau), Graham Oeka (Ebco) and Timothy Kila (Kiunga). Federation secretary-general Kila Oli has advised selected Port Moresby- based players to assemble at Ela Beach volleyball courts at 9am tomorrow for a briefing session on the training schedules.
Oli also said the women’s train-on squad would be announced when the team management and coaching panel were cleared by PNG Olympic Justification Committee.
The executive has engaged Sports development officer Koavea Karulaka as caretaker coach to start training the men for the Asian region tournament in April.