AFTER several stutters and conflicting messages the week after PNG’s Pacific Cup win the curtain on Kumul great John Wilshere’s (right) career was finally and officially drawn.
As expected and anticipated by many league followers around the country the formal announcement of Wilshere’s retirement came at a press conference last Friday.
New Minister for Sports Philemon Embel and NCD Governor Powes Parkop commended Wilshere for his services to PNG rugby league.
Embel said Wilshere had sealed his place in PNG rugby league history as one of the most successful captains after leading the team in the recently completed inaugural Pacific Cup tournament and in the process qualifying for the Four Nations next year.
“John Wilshere led a brave PNG in the World Cup last year and then helped the team claim the Pacific Cup against the Cook Islands, this shows that John is one of the most successful PNG Kumuls captains,” Embel said.
Parkop also raised similar sentiments at the official announcement of Wilshere’s retirement from representative duties.
“Wilshere has been a great rugby league ambassador who has exhibited good qualities youngsters around the country and indeed his own Kumul teammates can aspire to,” Parkop said.
Both Parkop and Embel said that there was room on the NRL bid team for a person of the calibre of Wilshere saying he was welcome to provide his expertise and knowledge in PNG’s attempt to enter a team into the Australian National Rugby League.
Wilshere said that he had to retire to give way for the next generation of Kumuls but was thankful and humbled to have played for his country and to have captained the side to the World Cup.