The National, Friday November 1st, 2013
THE Papua New Guinea Kurakums will compete at the AFL Under-17 Girls Queensland State Championships, in Brisbane, Australia, from today to Sunday.
Squad members from the provincial centres of Kimbe, Kavieng and Lae arrived in the nation’s capital during the week to join their Port Moresby teammates.
The girls were visited by AFL star and current Gold Coast Suns captain Gary Ablett Jr and his brother Nathan, who also plays in the Australian Football League.
The Abletts also helped train the girls with some drills on the contested ball.
After months of preparing for the tournament, the travelling party to Australia has regional centres well-represented in the final squad.
“This shows that AFL PNG is following up on its commitment to expand and grow the game throughout the country,” Atkinson said.
“I am satisfied with how the squad has taken shape over the past few months and I believe the girls are capable of putting up a good show in Brisbane next week.”
“I’ve been very impressed with how the girls have trained this week.
“The sessions have been sharp and the skills very good.
“With the whole squad assembled together in Port Moresby, it was important for the girls to get to know each other and bond as a team.
“The U17 Kurakums haven’t won the Queensland State Championships since 2007, but coach Murray Bird (also AFL PNG general manager) and I believe the competitive spirit combined with the natural talent within the squad will mean that the girls will be more than competitive down in Brisbane.”
The Kurakums are sponsored by Cocoa-Cola Amatil, who have been backing junior AFL since nearly a decade.
PNG Kurakums: Leticia Oa (Port Moresby), Sylvia Emeck (Port Moresby), Thecla Savere (Port Moresby), Cymbylyn Yogomin (Port Moresby), Agnes Bata (Port Moresby), Vaine Lai (Port Moresby), Louisa Aquila (Port Moresby), Aelo Eovo (Port Moresby), Chelsea Garesa (Port Moresby), Lydia Awa (Port Moresby), Benita Mai (Port Moresby), Valerie Mai (Port Moresby), Isobel Grant (Port Moresby), Noella Timo (Port Moresby), Alice Alois (Port Moresby), Shanley Luke (Kimbe), Florence Malala (Kimbe), Malaysie Posein (Kimbe), Winnie Kaiat (Kimbe), Sheckina Karogo (Kimbe), Ruth Reddy (Kavieng), Piwen Kutan (Kavieng), Apolonia Mare (Kavieng), Mardella Kataro (Lae), Jesslyn Meli (Lae), Janet Mong (Emergency- Port Moresby).