TAKING part in the National Soccer League (NSL) and attending workshops organised by the PNGFA have helped improve the standard of coaching in the countryaccording to the mentor of the U20 National Soccer runners-up Mt Hagen, Pius Letenge.
“We surprised everyone we played during the U20 soccer championships in Lae and ended up playing in the final,” Letenge said.
“Attending all those PNGFA seminars and being part of NSL has really paid off.”
He said it was a remarkable achievement for a Highlands centre to finish ahead of two Lae teams, LFA and Lahi, and Port Moresby.
The highlight of the tournament was its come-from-behind win over Lahi .
Lahi led 1-0 in the opening half but Hagen surged back to win 3-1in a determined display.
Letenge said in the finals, Madang had more experience which saw them one step ahead of Mt Hagen.
Mt Hagen goalkeeper Samson Salimongo proved valuable making several crucial saves throughout the championships.
The grand final was 0-0 at full time and extra time requiring a shoot-out which Madang won 4-1.