National women’s coach Demaine keeping options open


PLAYERS outside of the national train-on squad still have an opportunity to push for representative duties via the upcoming Women’s National Soccer League season, says head coach Nicola Demaine.
Her comments came after questions were raised over the omission of prolific striker Meagan Gunemba from the 27-man train-on squad which was announced earlier this week.
“I am a long way from selecting the (final) team for the Oceania Football Confederation Women’s Nations Cup,” Demaine told The National on Wednesday.
“We won’t select (the squad) until we are much closer to the competition.”
The Nation’s Cup, scheduled for mid-2022, will serve as the regional qualifier for next year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup which will be hosted in Australia and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the Papua New Guinea Football Association said Gunemba was not selected in the squad because she was not available for a training camp which was held in Lae last week due to personal reasons.
“Those players, including star striker Meagan Gunemba, who missed out on the wider squad named recently have the chance to make the national squad for the qualifier,” the sport’s national governing body said.
“The head coach had announced the squad after the camp in Lae last week.
“However, she has not ruled out players who did not make the team, including Gunemba.”