The National – Tuesday, April 5, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
EASTERN Star FC chairman Joseph Ealedona says he is satisfied with the performance of his players despite their 4-0 loss to MRDC Hekari United FC during the Telikom National Soccer League grand final on Saturday.
Ealedona said his boys played their best but unfortunately, it was the refereeing that killed their playing spirit.
“The scoreline did not reflect the quality of football played. It was a great grand final and while we are unhappy with many decisions of the refereeing, that is football and it is 90 minutes on the paddock that counts.
“Playing with 10 men against a quality side is a hard task but I must commend my boys for playing their best and fighting it out to the final whistle. It was a good grand final in a wonderful atmosphere and the NSL will only get better,” he added.
Ealedona said Eastern Star were looking forward to the next season and would come back a better team.
He also urged other clubs to lift their standards and bring the National Soccer League to the next level.
Club co-founder Aggrey Watson also extended his congratulations to Hekari for winning the grand final.
Watson said the defending champions won the match on the experience.
They had seasoned campaigners with grand final experience and it was a boost for the side.
He also wished the club the best in the upcoming O-League challenge.
Watson also expressed his gratitude to Ealedona and his wife, Denyse, for supporting the team, especially dealing with 30-odd players for the past six to seven months.
The grand final appearance is a testimony of their hard work and perseverance in keeping the players together and providing necessary financial support.
He thanked Richard Lapan, Adrian Komu, Junior Sato, Joshua Niebo and Nathaniel Lepani who were some of the founding members of the club.
Watson was impressed with Junior Sasu and Junior Sato who had shown maturity in their game.
He also acknowledged the support of Milton Gori and Steven Mune for standing by Ealedona for the past two years.
However, he blasted NSL operations manager Edward Tauloi for a protocol blunder for not inviting representatives of other major sponsors and support sponsors to the games, including Sports Minister Philemon Embel.
He said Embel was plucked out of the crowd and was given the honours to meet the players before the finals.
He also said Tukoko University deserved better than what they received over the weekend.