By JACK AMI
THE Papua New Guinea Men’s & Mixed Netball Association has named former internationals as coaches ahead of the inaugural Trans Pacific Cup against Australia in August.
PNGMMNA president Adam Parker said former PNG Pepes captain Lua Rikis would coach the mixed team and former PNG basketball guard Lawrence Lahari would take charge of the men’s side.
Parker said Rikis had over 15 years of experience with the Pepes, with a decade as captain.
“We are looking forward to what she brings to the squad,” he said.
“We have already seen a massive change in the mixed game and she is exactly what we need to lead the team.”
Assisting her is Emily Anderson, who has a wealth of experience playing and coaching at the national level in Australia.
The team will be managed Minnie Tamarua.
On the other hand, Lahari — who is the president of the Sparrows club — has been involved in netball for a while now.
He is joined by Jarrod Anderson, who has a wealth of on-court experience at the national level in Australia.
Anderson knows first-hand what the men’s side are up against and we will be using that knowledge of the game and the players to PNG’s advantage.
The team will be managed by Tania Maha.
“I have been involved with the game for over 30 years, and will oversee the teams along with some exceptional talented specialists,” Parker said.
“We will pass on our experience and knowledge to help guide the coaches achieve our vision.
“We have some very experience squad members in the likes of former Pepes Kilala Owens, Winnie Mavara and Susan Wellington who have years of international experience.
“We also have players like Dianne Lahari, Villie Napori, Joyce Nao, Selina Kule and Barbara Arivusu who have spent the last two years developing their playing style in the mixed game.
“They are joined by newcomers Edna Pala, Loani Griffin and Eva Anu.
Parker said selections would be tough as they had limited spots for females, but maintained that it was a good position to be in.
“We have 37 players in the squad, with 11 women and 26 men,” he said.
“The final mixed team of 14 players will consist of six males and eight females.
“The final men’s team will have 12 to 14 players.”
By JACK AMI