By BENJAMIN KOITAKA
NEWLY established soccer club Bougainville FC are keen on representing their province as it took them three years of hard work and perseverance to make it into the National Soccer League.
Bougainville coach David Passam said the club were confident after promising pre-season form and a playoff spot was definitely something they could snare in their debut season.
Speaking after the weekend’s trial 3-0 win over Eastern Stars at the Bisini soccer grounds, Passam, pictured, maintained his charges still had their feet firmly on the ground but the hardwork was certainly paying off.
He described the team’s performance as a “perfect and great start for my boys” capping off a valuable lead-up period to newly formatted competition which would see clubs play in conferences.
“We had a great start and kept on it with the boys form over our four trails and this final trial game gave a lot hope as we head into the Southern Conference,” Passam said of his side who have come through the pre-season undefeated.
“This our first time to play as a club but we’ve building up to this and it’s been an accumulation of three years’ hard work to at last get to the point where Bougainville has a team in the NSL.”
Passam said while the club comprised predominantly Port Moresby-based players (from the Mungkas club in the Port Moresby Soccer Association) they were no less proud of the name they represented.
“Our players have played in the PMSA competition for Mungkas and dreamed of playing for a team that represented Bougainville and now we’ve reached that goal and are looking forward to carrying the flag of Bougainville and PMSA as well because of where we are based,” Passam said.
Passam said FC Bougainville would do its best to promote players from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville having already brought three from the province.
Passam said the club would head into a camp as the NSL season is set to kick off next month.
“We played four trial matches, won three and drew one and based off that we feel we will competitive in the Southern Conference.
“This may be our first time but we are ready to roll.”
Passam said success in an elite level competition was as much about having a talented squad as well what happened off the field in terms of coaching and preparation.
Passam said he would trim his 30-man squad to 25 this week ready for the start of the Southern Conference fixtures.
“We’ve got 30 players at the moment and we’ll trim it down to 25 before the end of the month but I’ll keep those players who missed the cut close in case we need them later on in the season.”
Passam said the club had a good mix of experienced players and a host of young talent looking to prove themselves in the NSL.
By BENJAMIN KOITAKA