The National – Wednesday, December 15, 2010
By HENRY MORABANG
PNG Football Association has named former senior men coach John Davani to coach the PNG team for the 2011 OFC U17 championships in Auckland, New Zealand next month.
Davani appointment was made by PNGFA executive last month.
They also appointed Leslie Babaga as his assistant and School Soccer Port Moresby chief, Wayne Taylor as team manager.
The team was finalised on Saturday after the initial training squad across the country were put through their pace over a four-day camp at the PNGFA academy in Lae.
The final team of 27 players will travel to Port Moresby to undergo further intensive training before final 20 players are picked for the Auckland tournament. The team flies out on Jan 6.
Interestingly, some of the players selected had some connection with soccer such as Rodney Mobiha, Daniel Taylor, Charlie Lepani and Papalau Awele.
Mobiha is no stranger in soccer as his father, Noel, was the former general secretary of PNG Football Association.
The full team is as follows: Abel Redenut, Alwin Komolong, Ayrton Yagas, Benjamin Wilbert, Billy Edwards, Brian Balep, Charlie Lepani, Daniel Taylor, Darren Steven, David Browne, David Madai, Jacob Sabua, Jason Farock, John Ray, Numa Kila, Papalau Awele, Philip Steven, Rhodly Mago, Rodney Mobiha and Samson Poesi
Taylor said the team will play American Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand Vanuatu, at the group stage with the top two competing against the top two in Pool B in the semi finals.
The winner of the championship will then compete in the FIFA championship in Mexico next June.
Davani’s message to the players was to simply play basic football with emphasis on players performing their individual role within the team structure.