The National, Thursday October 17th, 2013
By ELIAS LARI
THE Mount Hagen Soccer Association will stage its major finals on Sunday at New Town.
Teams that have qualified for the finals have been urged to arrive early and settle outstanding issues before taking the field.
President Jonah Posa said he was winding down the soccer calendar in Western Highlands and the grand final would start next week.
Posa said soccer had attracted many people and he had seen a growing interest in the sport.
Soccer ranks behind rugby league and basketball in popularity in the Highlands region but with such competitions being run consistently interest would soon pick up, he said.
He said this week’s final would be tough as everyone would try to be the best.
“Soccer is building momentum in the province and I hope we will see more changes taking place,” he said.
“My appeal is to the teams who will participate in the finals to make the game become a success this weekend,” Posa said.
He said games would be held in three divisions – women, men and Under-23 – this weekend.
Posa said last week teams had performed very well and he expected the same this week.
“My aim is to revive this sport in the province so that it can help change the mindset of people,” Posa said.
He said this week’s games would be bigger as teams would compete hard to make it to the top.
“I want to thank the team presidents, officials, players, the clubs’ management and the supporters for their cooperation.
“I need us all to be on the field on time and make sure we see a tough match played this weekend,” Posa said.
He called on clubs to control the behaviour of their supporters during the finals as he did not want the type of rowdy and unruly behaviour often exhibited at rugby league matches to become a part of soccer.
He said fans must understand that only one team could win and losers must accept loss with grace and humility.
Posa said those teams who did not make it to the finals should train harder and prepare for next year.
“This is not the final … we will come back next year and that will be the time for you to prove yourself.”