By PATRICIA KEAMO
TUSBAB Stallions’ 30-man squad are progressing well with their training ahead of the 2021 National Soccer League (NSL) season which is expected to kick off on July 17, says club patron Conrad Wadunah.
Wadunah told The National yesterday that their squad comprised existing players from last season as well as the inclusion of young players, who were adapting well to their training routines.
The Stallions paid their affiliation fee to the Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) last month after receiving sponsorship support from the National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) through its community benefit fund.
“We were fortunate to be supported by the National Gaming Control Board (which saw) our club affiliation fee being paid,” said Wadunah.
“However, due to the changes in the competition format (by PNGFA), we will be reimbursed.”
Earlier this week, the PNGFA secretariat announced a change in the format with the affiliation fee reduced from K80,000 to K51,500 per team.
Wadunah said their squad included 10 students — five of whom were from Tusbab Secondary School — as part of the club’s development initiative. The other three players are from Madang Technical College while Ricky Wadunah and Nehemiah Geibul are students at Divine Word University
“Ricky and Jason (Wadunah), Nehemiah Geibul, Andrias Mapai, Morris Devi, Nolan Samar and Richie Apisa are the foundation players of the club and will continue with the club this year,” Wadunah said.
Meanwhile, with the requirement from the National Pandemic Control Centre to have officials and players vaccinated before competing in national competitions, Wadunah said it would be a personal choice for each individual.
“While I have been vaccinated and would like to encourage people to do so, I am not going to force anyone to do it,” he said.
“Vaccination is by choice and there is no need to force any player to be jabbed.
“Why are we forcing players to be vaccinated?
“If we are forced to vaccinate the players, the option will be left to the players to decide.
“I have talked to the players (Stallions) and all of them have indicated that they are not going to be jabbed.”
A clear directive from the sport’s governing body is yet to be made regarding vaccination.
By PATRICIA KEAMO