By HENRY MORABANG
HEKARI United are confident of putting on a good show against New Zealand’s Waitakere United in the first game of the O-League home-and-away final series this Saturday at Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby.
Hekari franchise owner John Kapi Natto yesterday said he had a vision to take football to another level compared to other Oceania nations, and just by reaching the O-League finals this is a dream come true.
“When Hekari United play Waitakere United, it will be all about PNG versus New Zealand.
“The winner will represent the region at the World Club championships in UAE this year,” he said
“I call on all supporters to come in numbers and support Hekari on Saturday,” he said.
Kapi Natto, who is also the senior vice-president of PNG Football Association and the NSL chairman, said he was confident his players, both local and international, would do the country proud.
Training has been good thus far with all players in attendance except for fullback Gideon Omokiro, who is yet to join the camp.
“All players are in camp except Gideon who will join the camp on Saturday.
“Gideon works as a banker with Westpac Bank in Honiara and could not take leave to join the camp for this match but he will be there on the day,” he said. “Our other special signing also from Solomon Islands Henry Fa’arodo joined the camp a week earlier which was good for the team.
PNG hosted the All Whites in 1991 at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium where Francis Moiyap scored the only goal for PNG in the upset of the year.
Everyone is hoping that Hekari can great home record against Kiwi teams by beating the New Zealand champions at Lloyd Robson Oval.
Assistant coach Tommy Mana said with the same spirit of team after beating Solomon Islands champion Marist 4-1, the boys are in fine form and will make the most of its home advantage.
“After we got back from the Marist game in Honiara the team has been put through a full training programme in preparation for this game,” Mana said.
“We should be ok on our home ground and we will take full advantage of that,” he said.
Mana was wary of Solomon Island international Benjamin Totori and Fijian representaive Roy Krishma both of whom are part of a formidable Waitakere outfit. But Mana assured fans that both would be closely marked during the match and was upbeat about scoring a win in the opening clash.
Hekari’s possible team is Gure Gabina (goalkeeper) Pita Bolatoga, Gideon Omokirio, Cyril Muta and Koriak Upaiga (fullbacks), Alick Maemae, David Muta, Stanley Waita and Samuel Kini (midfielders) Tuimasi Manuca, Kema Jack (strikers).