PNG U17 side has potential, says Davani

Normal, Sports

The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011

 THE PNG youth team to the Oceania Football Confederation U17 World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand has a lot of potential and talent to finish in the top bracket, according to coach John Davani.

He said yesterday at the team’s last training session at the Bisini Park that he had a lot of talent in the side.

Davani, who was recalled into the coaching scene since 2004, said the team had shown a lot of maturity during training over the last two weeks.

“We played two matches against Eastern Star FC and the boys have a positive approach in playing football and it is a good indication,” he said.

However, Davani, who was also a former U23 coach, urged the boys to believe in themselves when they took on their opponents.

PNG are pooled in Group A with American Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and Vanuatu. 

Davani said he would be relying on captain Alwin Komolong and vice captain Aryton Yagas to lead the boys.

Komolong was plucked out of Besta PNG United while Yagas of basketball fame turned soccer striker from the School of Excellence in Soccer Port Moresby to lead the relatively unknown PNG side.

“Our opponents do not know us due to our low ranking in the Pacific but we will be out there to spoil their party in Auckland,” Davani said.

Davani will also be banking David Browne, David Taylor and Jacob Sabua to do more talking on the field.

PNG will play their first match against Vanuatu on Albany’s North Shore Stadium, Auckland, on Sunday.

Except for William Edwards, who will be coming from Brisbane, the rest of the team is made up of local boys. 

The squad: Komolong (captain), Yagas (vice-captain), David Madai, John Ray, Steven Philip, Jason Farock, Browne, Samson Poesi, Abel Redenut, Rodney Mobiha, Rhodly Mago, Brian B Alep, Awale Papalau, Sabua, Numa Kila, Wilbert Benjamin, Dareen Steven, Charles Lepani, Taylor and Edwards. 

The coach is Davani, assistant Leslie Babaga and the manager is Wayne Taylor.