PNG Kumuls captain John Wilshere responded to yesterday’s report in The National by saying his comments regarding his retirement from national duties were taken out of context.
This is despite Kumuls coach Adrian Lam stating at a function for the Pacific Cup champions hosted by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in Port Moresby on Monday, that Sunday’s Pacific Cup final would be the last game for Wilshere in the Kumuls jersey.
The 31-year-old has made 34 international appearances during his 12-year international career.
Wilshere yesterday spoke to The National from his native Butibam village in Lae, Morobe province, saying he has not made a definite decision on his playing future but will discuss his options with Lam.
“I’m going to sit down with Adrian and work out how I can contribute to the Kumuls next year and what his plans are.
“What was said yesterday (Wednesday) and what was said on Monday night was taken out of context. I only said ‘retirement’ could be an option for me at this stage,” Wilshere said.
It is understood that both Kumuls assistant coach Michael Marum and Lam were aware of the likelihood that Wilshere would call it a day after the Pacific Cup and made comments endorsing the Salford Reds winger’s intentions.
However, with PNG gaining entry to next year’s Four Nations tournament in Australia, Wilshere’s experience and leadership would be a significant addition to the side, whether as a player or as part of the coaching staff.
He did hint at what type of role he would play in the Four Nations.
“I’ll see how Adrian wants to use me but, at the moment, just making the Four Nations is a big achievement for the Kumuls and I want to be part of that,” he said.
Also playing a large part in his decision would be club commitments to Salford and the fact that he has fewer viable years at the professional level of the game.
Wilshere, currently on holiday at Butibam village, has had a packed schedule of school visits, meeting fans and families and public engagements while on his break.
He said an official announcement on his playing future would be made over the few days.