By BENJAMIN KOITAKA
NEWLY established National Soccer League club (Highlands Conference) Kagua Erave are set to release the names of the players in their squad next week.
The pre-selected train-on-squad moved to the National Sports Institute in Goroka last Monday and are in their seventh day of training with the club management to confirm their season’s list before the competition starts.
Head coach Steven Mune told The National yesterday that the management was yet to trim the numbers and announce the final list of players for the club who are set to make their debut this year.
“We’re focusing on the individuals performance at training to decide who we pick for the final squad,” Mune said.
“We understand that we need to release the names of our final squad for the fans and public to know so everyone knows who will be playing for Kagua Erave FC.
“The fans have a right to know and we won’t hold back the players’ names and news on team’s progress which is important.
“NSL is a big game and for public’s sake, we will release the players anytime this weekend or next week,” Mune said.
He said 27 players were currently in camp at the NSI and added that the numbers would be cut in the coming days. “I have 27 very talented, young players and I will cut at least three or four to reduce the final list to 24 or 23.
The former striker and UFC coach said the club had selected players from all regions.
“We have selected five players from Port Moresby, seven from Madang and one from West New Britain but we have the majority of players from the Kagua and Erave districts.
“I have to mix them around so they could learn from each other and progress.
“We have selected about half our train-on squad from outside the province because these players have NSL experience,” Mune said.
Mune said it was important to get the balance right as he also wanted to develop the locally sourced soccer talent as well as to be competitive in their debut season.
“As coach I’m trying to get the squad to combine as a team and hopefully see the players understand each other,” Mune said.
He said training over the last seven days had been good with no injuries or issues.
Mune added that conditions in Goroka was also good for training and preparing for the NSL.
“The climate is suitable for us to train in.
“We’re starting at 10am and afternoon sessions at 4pm and the players are responding well.
“Players are training very hard and I think we will be competitive at the NSL level,” he said.
Mune said as the first team from the Southern Highlands Conference and joined Hagen and Wabag teams and were keen to do well in the group.
“As newcomers with a lot of raw talented, we will look to deliver for our fans and show everyone that we can play soccer,” he said.
Mune confirmed that the draw had not been released by the NSL management but the team were focused on getting fit establishing a style of play ahead of the start of the 2019 season.
Mune thanked the major sponsors and individuals who had supported them over the last three months.
“We thank our sponsors and we will be good ambassadors and get the expected results.”
By BENJAMIN KOITAKA