By PATRICIA KEAMO
FINANCIAL constraints have seen Northern Conference franchise Sepik relocate to Lae for the Women’s National Soccer League season, according to club general secretary Clarence Hukahu.
He told The National that 19 players from their 22-man roster were based in Lae while the rest travelled to the Morobe capital for matches.
“Most of our players are Under-18s,” Hukahu said.
“Our youngest players are 13 and 14 years old.
“We’ve been trying to give them a small allowance of K100 per weekend.
“But due to lack of funds, they’ve settled for K50.”
Hukahu said they were planning to roll out their merchandise — starting with T-shirts — in an effort to raise funds.
Meanwhile, he said the club was focused on creating change, developing players and uniting the Sepik provinces through football.
“We’re also working to help the players improve their conduct, discipline and habits,” Hukahu said.
“We’re hoping that they will bring change to their communities, and pass on their skills and knowledge to players in their respective football associations.”
He said their development was largely focused on futsal which was introduced by the Papua New Guinea Football Association in the provinces.
“Youngsters look up to senior players (national representatives), so we are working to help raise the standard of football,” Hukahu said.
Sepik are made up of players from Wewak, Lae, Madang, Ramu and Vanimo whose associations have asked the franchise to recruit more of their players.
“There are a lot of talented players from those areas, but we’re unable to recruit all of them,” Hukahu said.
“We’ll keep monitoring them for next season.”