By ISAAC LIRI
EASTERN Stars will not take part in this year’s National Soccer League, according to franchise owner Joseph Ealedona.
There was a media announcement mid last year that Eastern Stars, who last took part in the NSL in the 2012-2013 season, were making a return to the semi-professional competition. However, Ealedona said the franchise would instead skip this season and prepare well for the next.
He told The National that concrete preparations were vital to ensure the team participated in the NSL and without that the team would have to take time to prepare for the following season.
“Stars will hold back this season and bid again in the next season which I believe will be in November as indicated in the PNGFA 2018 calendar,” Ealedona said.
“I have submitted a proposal to the Alotau District Development Authority and they have agreed to take ownership and I am doing the formal transfer of the team as Stars is owned by a franchise company known as Eastern Stars Football Limited. The chairman of Alotau DDA and MP Charles Abel wants to properly plan and organise sponsors and the home ground facilities in Alotau and therefore the decision was to delay.
“There is no rush as I believe we will come in bigger and better as indications from Milne Bay parliamentarians for support and business houses were very positive.
“We apologise to all, especially our team Milne Bay boys who were to make up core of the team, but our advice to them is to keep on playing the game they love because November is not too far away.”
The Eastern Stars entered the semi-professional competition in 2007 and were runners-up to Hekari United FC twice, in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons.
By ISAAC LIRI