The National, Monday 17th June 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
PROMISING Lae Snax Tigers rookie, Wellington Albert will miss two Digicel Cup matches as he will be part of the Papua New Guinea national elite schoolboys’ team to tour Brisbane, Australia, this week.
Albert is part of the squad selected after training camps conducted by the PNG Rugby League Foundation around the country.
“They will play four matches in 10 days against top quality opposition to improve them as footballers, change their mind-set and open their eyes to what they could achieve and to get them used to competing internationally at a higher level,” PNGRFL chief executive officer Brad Tassell said from Port Moresby.
Albert was the only player without any Digicel Cup experience.
But his potential and discipline saw him selected into the Kumuls high performance camp preparing for the rugby league World Cup later this year under director Mal Meninga and head coach Adrian Lam.
He debuted last Sunday against the Kemele Hela Wigman weeks after the Tigers management under Tim Rogers followed the recommendation of PNGRLF development officers Shane Morris and Jason Tassell to take him into their team.
“We recommended and worked closely with the Snax Tigers through Tim Rogers about setting up an academy type programme for the talented schoolboys players in their region, similar to what the Gurias do in Rabaul,” Tassell said.
“I would like to congratulate the Tigers management and coach Stanley Tepend on their foresight and vision to listen to our recommendations and take this on.
“They are doing a great job this year and they recognise that a strong junior development programme and nurturing the talented youth in their region coming through the schoolboys programme will sustain their football programme long-term,” he said.
Tassell said the cooperation between the foundation and the club would pay off for the game not only in Lae but nationally.