PNG stay focused on task ahead


CAPTAIN Yvonne Gabong says she is wary of the task ahead for the national women’s football team to qualify for next year’s World Cup which will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The Madang and Manus native was given the nod as captain to lead the team in the Oceania Football Confederation Women’s Nations Cup in Suva, Fiji, next week.
The July 13-30 event has attracted nine Oceania member associations, including Papua New Guinea.
Gabong’s appointment came as nothing new to her, having led the national youth team to the 2016 Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Port Moresby.
But she described the appointment as an honour.
“I am privileged to lead this team,” Gabong said.
“I know this role comes with great responsibility and I do my best to be a good leader to teammates and a great ambassador for our country during the Nations Cup in Fiji.”
She warned her teammates to remain focused on their campaign.
“We must create our own legacy as we are riding on the legacy of those who have gone before us,” Gabong said.
“We are now on a mission to create our own legacy to win the Nations Cup.”
Gabong has overcome niggling injuries to earn the captaincy ahead of fellow experienced campaigners in Lucy Maino and Sandra Birum.
PNG have a tough task when they face Vanuatu and Tahiti in their pool matches at ANZ Stadium, Suva.
Meanwhile, Gabong acknowledged PNG Football Association president John Kapi Natto and his executive committee for their support towards the team.
She also thanked their sponsors for their support during their preparations ahead of the Women’s Nations Cup.
Gabong acknowledged Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited’s Luke Liria for encouraging the team to do their best in the tournament.