By ZACHERY PER
PNG Kumuls coach Michael Marum’s stand on the selection of players for next month’s test again Fiji Bati in Sydney has not gone down well with one member of the domestic rugby league fraternity.
Genoka Pride rugby league club owner Ben Noel, pictured, who is also the deputy chairman of the Goroka Rugby League judiciary and a selector said a selection policy that focused exclusively on the major competitions including the National Rugby League, Q-Cup and English Super League was doing a disservice to talents around the country.
He said Marum needed to remember where he came from and that at one stage, he too was an aspiring player competing in a local league.
“Michael needs to remember where he came from. He has a responsibility to help promote, develop and motivate players at the domestic level. It seems he has forgotten where he got his first chance playing rugby league,” Noel said.
Noel added that as the national coach it was not proper for Marum to be dictating selection policy.
“Michael shouldn’t be wearing the hat of a national selector. He’s undermining them by saying what is going to be done. He should just decline to comment on these things and separate himself from the process.”
Noel said Michael needed to focus on his role as the coach which he was a good one because he was the most successful Kumul coach in terms of winning percentage.
“I think Michael’s comments about the selection policy will only demoralise our players in the local comps around the country and even in the Digicel Cup because he is shutting the door on them.”
Noel said Marum’s first priority was to get the SP PNG Hunters into a winning mode again and to build on that and hopefully make the finals to have a chance at defending the title they won last year.
“Michael can’t be acting like the chairman of selectors. That’s not his job. His job is being the head coach of the Kumuls.
“I call on Michael to wait for the selectors to give him the 2018 Kumul squad, and furthermore I challenge him to play his Kumul squad against a shadow squad made up of these players he won’t consider and see who performs,” Noel said.
“It will be a great way to identify real talent.”
By ZACHERY PER