HEKARI United franchise owner John Kapi Natto boldly announced that his team is ready to face Waitakere United in the two legged O-League finals which start next month.
Kapi Natto returned with the team from Honiara, Solomon Islands, after they crushed Marist 4-1 to qualify for the O-league final against Waitakere United of New Zealand.
“We are all ready to meet the winners of Group A, which is Waitekere United in Port Moresby on April 17,” he said.
He said it had been a great feeling in the club after the victory in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
The win in Honiara is a sweet victory for the club and the PNG football fraternity.
“Everyone worked hard for it and we have achieved our dream,” he said.
Kapi Natto said as sponsors, he was proud that his club had raised the bar in the regional competition not for his club only but for PNG and the football families.
He took a gamble to add few experienced players on loan to support their quest for the O-League by recruiting Henry Fa’arodo, Gideon Omokirio and Alick Maemae, who had stints with clubs overseas.
He said their inclusion in the team blended very well with PNG and the Fijian players.
“It is really chemistry with half of the players from Solomon Islands while the rest are from PNG which was the right chemistry to win any football match,” he added.
He added that Fa’arodo played a very big part in the win.
His ability and experience had created a lot of motivation for the PNG players.
In fact, the Solomon Islands striker fitted very well with local players in the club.
“Hekari will certainly step up in top gear as it prepares to host Waitekere United and beat them in our home soil,” he said.
Kapi Natto commended the international players for their commitment and loyalty to PNG.
He said nothing should be taken away from PNG players with skipper David Muta, Kema Jack, Koriak Upaiga and Cyril Muta who rose to the occasion at Lawson Tama stadium.
Skipper Muta said they always wanted to play in O-League and had to work hard during the National Soccer League season to win the minor premiership.
He said his boys would give their best when they meet Waitekere United.
“We have to believe in ourselves and do our best against the New Zealanders. I commend the PNG players for having the heart to allow international players to support us,” he said.
Waitekere United player/coach Neil Emblen said it was a great result for the club but admitted the job was not yet done.
“We’ve still got 180 minutes of football ahead of us. Hekari had another big win this weekend and since they’ve recruited the Solomon Islands boys they looked a real force.
“We know that Papua New Guinea won’t be an easy place to play, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”