The National, Friday November 20th, 2015
By FRANCIS RODNEY PULU
SOCCER fans in Lae and Port Moresby will be entertained with a feast of football as the 2015-2016 National Soccer League season kicks off this weekend.
The 12 franchise teams that have been endorsed to take part in the competition have been divided into the two conferences, Northern and the Southern, with six teams in each.
The Northern Conference boasts reigning champions Lae City Dwellers leading the other five teams while the Southern Conference has the minor premiers and champions for the last nine seasons, Hekari United, leading the competition.
The Southern Conference teams had their four trials which ended last weekend.
The trials were organised by the Port Moresby Soccer Association for the teams to play and select their final players for the competition.
The teams that took part were happy that the trials gave them a picture of where their players stood leading up to the start of the season.
In the Northern Conference, the six teams did not have any trials but are looking forward to the start of the season.
Northern Conference team, the Manus provincial government-sponsored Admiralty, would be based in Lae for the first 15 weeks of the conference stage.
They (Admiralty) would be travelling out of the city to Madang and Goroka for matches as per their draws for the season.
In the Northern conference, Goroka Gosika will be the only team making its debut.
For the Southern conference, the new teams are PKA Rapatona, Erema and Huawei PS, while the other three teams are not new to NSL.
Hekari and Dwellers would be taking each game in the conference stage a lot more seriously as part of their preparations towards the Oceania Football Confederation next year.
By now, the 12 teams would have submitted their master list of players and team management to NSL.
In the Northern conference, games would be played only on Saturdays, while the Southern conference will stage games on Sundays also. Draw: Southern: Sat, Nov 21 3pm Bisini 1(POM v Huawei), Bisini 2 (Hekari v Gigira); Sun, Nov 22 3pm Bisini 1 (Erema v Rapatona); Northern:Sat, Nov 21 10am Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium (Admiralty v Welgris), 12:30pm Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium (Besta v Madang), 3pm SIKS (Dwellers v Goroka)