By TRAVERTZ MABONE
WHERE rugby league is given precedence and dominates as a provincial sport, a new turn will be faced in the coming year which will see the emergence of soccer being represented at the national level.
Already, the Yokoro Sports Association of Erave in Southern Highlands province are well into the third week of their organised soccer tournament.
It will lead to selected players entering trials in Mendi for possible inclusion in the semi-professional National Soccer League (NSL) challenge.
Speaking from Erave, Yokoro Sports Association patron Chris Papiali said: “Eight teams are taking part in both men and women’s divisions for top spots in next week’s knockouts.
“From the competition, we are hopeful some of our outstanding players make it successfully to the trials and be included in the Southern Highlands team,” he added.
The teams taking part in the compeition are Walura Crabs, Wando Dogs, Amibili Fox, Kolalu Swamps, Puki Raiders, Bau Eagles, Erave Station and Marorogo.
The trials start in March to build a team for the Southern Highlands to hopefully compete in the NSL in the 2010-11 NSL soccer season.
Papiali said yesterday that the tournament could not have been possible without the support of Oil Search Limited through the Gobe Community Affairs programme under people such as James Kema, Tommy Talang and Paul Tabuma.
Papiali said he was thankful that through the opportunity raw talents from the area would be able to get exposure at the national and international level.