The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
OCEANIA champions, Hekari United FC, have categorically denied any revolt made by its overseas-based players.
Franchise owner John Kapi Natto said yesterday the club had released two players on disciplinary grounds – Joachim Waroi (Solomon Islands) and Pita Boilatoga (Fiji) while others had voluntarily asked for release to be with their families.
Other Solomon islanders, including coach Tommy Mana, Benjamin Mela and Rex Hogi, were released on compassionate grounds while star signings Henry Fa’arodo, Gideon Omokirio and Abraham Iniga are still part of the club.
Kapi Natto, when responding to an article which appeared in the Post-Courier yesterday, said Fa’arodo and Omokirio were training at home because of their jobs – Ramsi and Westpac Bank respectively.
However, he said they would be part of the team when Hekari United play Lautoka FC on Jan 15. Iniga who had not arrived in PNG yet was likely to be disciplined by the club.
Kapi Natto said the team manageress and his wife, Vonnie, was disappointed when she learnt of the report yesterday.
He added that the Fiji-Hekari’s contingent of Tuimasi Manuca, Osea Vakatalesau, Malakai Tiwa and Simioni Tamanisau had already joined the camp and were currently training with the local boys.
He also said that skipper David Muta and goalkeeper Gure Gabina were the only two local players who are yet to join the camp.
“Like other players, the duo will have to show letters explaining their lateness in joining the camp otherwise will be disciplined,” Kapi Natto said.
Hekari coach Jerry Allen would be joining the club later following the passing of his mother during festive season.
Apart from the overseas-based players, Hekari has also released Beckham Yanum, Tau Winnie and Bofeng Garambini.
Garambini was settling in his new job and it would take some time for him to return to full training with the boys.
Kapi Natto said all the players in camp were focus on the upcoming O-League match against Lautoka FC in Fiji.
After playing in Club World Cup championships, it was an experience for Hekari United players, and now, the players must refocus on the upcoming events – the O-League match and the National Soccer League season.
Kapi-Natto said Hekari United had used the window-transfer to sign the Solomon Islands Futsal captain Elliot Ragomo.
“Yes, Ragomo has signed and will be joining the club anytime from now. There are two other players, a Solomon Islander and a Fijian defender replacing Bolaitoga for the O-League and NSL matches,” he said.
Hekari United FC has also named senior player Trevor Ire as interim coach in the absence of Allen who should be arriving in Port Moresby later in the month.