WELGRIS Fuel Distributors offered a new lease of life to Madang soccer players by agreeing to enter a franchise a team in this year’s National Soccer League season.
Under its sponsorship brand Niupetro Fuel, the Madang team will be known as Niupetro Fox Football Club.
The company board of Welgris Fuel Distributors honored its three-year commitment to sponsor a team in the National Soccer League and for the last two years, it has supported Welgris Highlander FC and to complete their deal, it travelled down to Madang.
NSL board chairman John Kapi Natto said recently that Welgris Fuel Distributors could have maintained its sponsorship of Highlanders FC had players not move to other clubs especially to CMSS Tigers and Tuguba Laitepo Morobe FC.
Kapi Natto thanked the directors of the company for their foresight in extending their sponsorship to a Madang based team.
Madang was renowned as one of the powerhouses of the game during the early stages of the NSL competition.
Kapi Natto also formally welcomed back Gelle Hills, who have already signed Tau Winnie and Leano Geno for the upcoming season.
Hills franchise owner Wilfred Vali last week said the acquisition of two of its original members Winnie and Leana would boost the campaign for the Central province team.
Vali said the door wide open to all original players and others who were interested.
PNGFA competition manager Edward Tauloi also confirmed that Welgris Fuel Distributors would support a franchise in Madang.
He said he was happy that Madang players were given a second chance to take part in the tough semi- professional competition.
Tauloi said teams confirm for this year’s NSL include Hekari United FC, CMSS Tigers FC, University Inter FC, Eastern Star FC, Gelle Hills FC (Port Moresby), Tuguba Laitepo Morobe FC, Lae University FC, Besta United FC (PNG U20) (Lae) and Niupetro Fox FC (Madang).
He said the NSL board closed the door on Sepik FC who wanted to make a last-minute bid to enter the competition.
“On record, they gave us hard time last year especially in late payment of their outstanding fees which went against them for re-admission,” Tauloi said.
The president of Madang Soccer Association (MSA) Peter Angassa welcomed the Welgris Fuel Distributors directors’ decision to extend their support to Madang.
He said Madang had the player pool to put up a team but the current trend of poaching had depleted Madang but the announcement would hopefully lure players back.
Current U20 reps will form the core of the Niupetro Fox team with new signings in the season.