By LARRY ANDREW
NATIONAL men’s football team coach Marcos Gusmao says he may pick some Wawens Cup players for his squad when his men resume training in Port Moresby this month.
The squad are preparing for the Fifa World Cup regional qualifiers which will be held in Qatar in March.
Gusmao said he was excited to visit Lae to watch the eighth edition of the Wawens Cup over the weekend.
The South American was accompanied by Papua New Guinea Football Association general secretary Pius Letenge, national women’s team coach Nicola Demaine and association technical boss Paul Isorua.
Gusmao told The National that there was an abundance of talented players in Lae’s biggest offseason soccer tournament.
“Some of the players have been in the national team for some time,” the Brazilian said.
“Perhaps a team can be picked from this tournament to play a friendly game against the national side.
“Maybe for the next camp or selection, some of the players from this tournament can be picked.
“It’s important that national players compete in the tournament.
“Their participation gives more prominence to this tournament.
“I also haven’t seen some of them play, so it is a good opportunity to see the players in action.
“I thank association president John Kapi Natto and our sponsors for bringing me here.
“It gives me a fair idea of the national players who I have not seen in action.”
Gusmao said apart from coaching, he would help the association prepare programmes to develop players.
Meanwhile, association executive committee member Jackson Varcilli thanked tournament founder and sponsor Andrew Namuesh and his family for the initiative to keep youths busy during the festive season.
President Varcilli said it was now up to Lae Football Association, Morobe Football Association and his Lahi Soccer Association to support the initiative.
By LARRY ANDREW