The National- Friday, January 14, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
HEKARI United players are all focused to take on Lautoka FC in a much-anticipated O-League match at Churchill Park, Fiji, tomorrow.
The team, which left on Wednesday minus goalkeeper Gure Gabina and skipper David Muta, are all geared up to face the equally determined Fiji champions in their rescheduled O-League match.
Hekari boss John Kapi Natto said despite recent media reports, he urged the team to maintain their focus on Lautoka after their club world cup last December in Abu Dhabi.
Kapi Natto said the club had recalled Godfrey Baniau from retirement as back up for tomorrow’s encounter.
Eric Komeng joins Samuel Kini, Abraham Iniga and Malakai Tiwa in the midfield while Osea Vakatalesau and Kema Jack head the attack.
In the backline, Pita Bolaitoga has been reinstated to man the backline along with Koriak Upaiga, Gideon Omokirio and Alvin Singh.
Kapi Natto said the team had trained well since they went into the camp on Jan 3 and expected a win against Lautoka.
Meanwhile, Lautoka Blues have shut the door on some of their star players after they failed to report for training in preparation for the Hekari game.
Lautoka soccer head Shalendra Prasad said Samuela Kautoga, Valerio Nawatu, Ilaitia Tuilau, Niumaia Tagi and Marika Madigi would no longer be part of the Blues.
He said the five had failed to train in the lead up to tomorrow’s match.
“We won’t tolerate this kind of behaviour,” he said.
“While the rest of the boys are training hard, these others are running around negotiating with other districts.
“If they think they can just come and go as they please they better think twice.
“We won’t let players to dictate terms to us.”
Prasad claimed the five had simply ignored the club’s attempts at contacting them to start training.
In the National Soccer League , Eastern Stars have trained well for their match against Gigira Laitepo this weekend.
“We have brought back Eadie Omokiro from the Solomon Islands to work with the coaching management and he has been valuable to the training camp boosting the morale and approach to the game ,” Eastern Star franchise owner Joseph Ealadona said.
Former University Inter players Felix Bonoulak and Hamson Daniel are now training with the Stars.
“We should get them registered today (Friday) and they should be available for season’s second half.
“Otherwise the boys are looking forward to playing Gigira and I ‘m pleased with their training and the Lae crowd should expect some quality football,” Ealadona said.
In the other match in Goroka, Petro Souths are favoured to record their first NSL win against Madang Fox.
The current NSL points ladder is: Hekari 12, Eastern Star 10, Tukoko Uni 9, Gigira Laitepo Morobe 5, Madang Fox, 4, Petro Souths 0.