Skipper out to make statement as Hekari return to comp


It has been a long time coming for former Papua New Guinea and Oceania champion Hekari United FC who are regrouping to bolster their National Soccer League (NSL) campaign.
Captain David Muta is set to start the season on fire as the club target a return to the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League.
“I can’t wait to put on my soccer boots for the season,” Muta said.
“I am looking forward to play the game.
“Our preparations have been good so far, with a good atmosphere in the camp.”
Muta said his players had been working well with their coaches.
“Our team have prepared well,” he said.
“We have played a few friendlies and have identified areas where we need to improve.
“The players are prepared to compete this season.”
Muta said Hekari had recruited some new players such as Nathan James, Shane Sakael and Roger Sakin.
The main prize of winning the competition and qualifying for the OFC Champions League is what every team aims for.
But Muta said Hekari were concerned about doing their part on and off the field, and let faith decide.
Meanwhile, NSL organisers have announced the opening fixtures.
The semi-professional competition with its new format has got a lot of football followers and fans around of the country thrilled as they look forward to the weekend.
The Southern conference fixtures will be played at the Papua New Guinea Football Stadium, with PRK Gulf Komara facing Central United FC, Eastern Stars taking on Port Moresby United FC and FC Bougainville eyeing Hekari United.
The Southern Strikers will take on newcomers Star Mountain FC in the last Southern conference match for round one.
In the Northern conference, the six Morobean sides will face off at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.
The two Madang sides — Laiwaden FC and Tusbab Stallions FC — face each other at the Laiwaden Oval.
The New Guinea Islands and Highlands conference will kick off after two weeks, as a few clubs from those areas are yet to sort out their affiliation fees. Fixtures: Sat, Jan 26 – PRK Gulf Komara FC v Central United FC (10am), Eastern Stars FC v Port Moresby United FC (1pm), FC Bougainville v Hekari United FC (3pm); Sun, Jan 27 – Markham FC v Lahi FC (10am), FC Morobe Wawens v Besta PNG United FC (1pm), Toti City FC v Morobe United FC (3pm), Southern Strikers FC v Star Mountain FC (3pm), Laiwaden FC v Tusbab Stallions FC (3pm).