Nations Cup squad named

Sports

PAPUA New Guinea Women’s head coach Peter Gunemba named a strong squad for the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Women’s Nations Cup in New Caledonia next week.
Gunemba, who is also the head coach of PNG champion club Toti City FC, named a 21-member squad which has a good blend of experience and a number of exciting young players.
Eight players — young goal keeper Faith Kasiray, pictured, Yvonne Gabong, Meagen Gunemba, Ramona Padio, Judith Gunemba, Sandra Birum, Marie Kaipu and Margaret Joseph — have played more international matches for Papua New Guinea while others ,at the start of their international careers, Rayleen Bauelua, Theresah Boie, Fidorah Namuesh, Elizabeth Elizah, Cynthia Pulou, Merolyn Sali, Eunice Nabalu, Betty Sam and Stephanie Gani.
Gunemba, who is not new to the job, knows what it takes to prepare a team for such competitions on a big stage.
“I am confident with the players I have in my squad,” Gunemba said.
“We haven’t had a huge amount of time to prepare, but since we started camp on Monday the girls are picking up well as we go through series of training phases.
“Unfortunately we lost three of our good players – Yasap Ganu and Zeenah Toropoi were dropped due to passport issues while Lavina Hola left on medical grounds.”
Gunemba said his team would take nothing for granted but believes the results in New Caledonia will determine their preparations.
The PNG senior women will complete their week-long training camp in Lae on Sunday before flying to New Caledonia on Tuesday Nov 13.
Fixtures: Pool A – PNG v Samoa (Nov 18), PNG v New Caledonia (Nov 21) and PNG v Tahiti (Nov 24).
PNG squad: Faith Kasiray, Betty Sam, Rita Mayang, Merolyn Sali, Judith Gunemba, Olita Upaupa, Yvonne Gabong, Stephanie Gani, Sandra Birum, Margaret Joseph, Rayleen Bauelua, Selina Unamba, Meagen Gunemba, Ramona Padio, Cynthia Pulou, Georgina Bakani, Marie Kaipu, Eunice Nabalu, Theresah Boie, Elizabeth Elizah, Fidorah Namuesh.
Team officials: Head coach – Peter Gunemba; Assistant coach – Margaret Aka; Team manager – Rister Sovo.

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