By HENRY MORABANG
VANUATU champions Tafea FC want nothing less than a win against Hekari United in the O-League challenge at Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby tomorrow.
Coach Graham Demas said on arrival that a win would be a bonus for his boys after a 3-3 draw in Port Vila during the opening match of the O-League campaign last year.
He said Tafea respected Hekari in the upcoming match.
“Hekari United would have the home ground advantage but his boys would give their best to win the match.
However, a draw will be even better for his side to help them stay on top of the competition ladder,” he said.
Demas said they had retained all the players except for Solomon Islands import Frazer Maebule who has signed up for six months to help Tafea FC during the O-League finals campaign.
Maebule, a policeman by profession, will support veterans Francois Sakama and skipper Richard Iwai to put the team together tomorrow.
Hekari United franchise owner John Kapi Natto strongly believes they can still win without one of their key players Pita Bolaitoga, who will be sidelined due to two yellow cards slapped on him in the previous O-League matches last year.
Bolaitoga’s omission has sent the coach and the management back to the drawing board to come up with a rescue plan to fill in the missing piece.
Kapi-Natto is confident that they have enough strike power and talent to fill the gap.
“For me personally, I believe this is our year and all our players need to focus and be mentally strong if we are to take the three match points away from Tafea and live another day to play Lautoka FC in several weeks time,” he said.
To add more depth, Hekari United have also signed three new Solomon Islands international players.
Solomon Islands star Henry Fa’arado is exceptional and his services will be a big boost for Hekari.
Fa’arado is one of the region’s best players and is known for exposing opposition’s flaws in defence and attack. The other two players are Gideon Omokirio and Edward Ngaitim.
Team manageress Vonnie Kapi-Natto is urging Papua New Guineans to get behind Hekari and support them because they are playing for the country.
She also thanked the supporters who have been behind the team for the past O-League outings.