The National, Friday 21st December, 2012
By HENRY MORABANG
WEST New Britain Tavur FC are the fourth franchise to pay their fee for 2013 Telikom National Soccer League season.
WNB Tavur join Hekari United FC, Welgris Highlanders FC and Besta United who have paid the required K80,000 registration fee.
With four teams confirmed for the 2013 semi professional competition, the two places remaining will be a toss-up between Gigira Laitepo Morobe FC, Eastern Stars FC, Yamaros FC and Port Moresby City FC.
Interim WNB Tavur manager John Raka told The National from Kimbe yesterday that as soon as their payment was paid to the NSL bank account, “it’s all systems go for the Pasin West boys to storm the premier soccer competition in the country”.
Raka said players from the Kimbe, New Britain Palm Oil and South Coast teams would form the nucleus of WNB Tavur.
He said after submitting their expression of interest to the NSL early this year, WNB Tavur FC assembled a training squad of 34 players to train under coach Luke Muta. He was assisted by former PNG under-23 player Mark Kelep, Barth Mio, Dominic Bego and Tom Leo to finalise a 26-man squad.
Raka said WNB was known for producing some of the country’s best soccer players and the stage was set to showcase talented players in the province.
WNB Tavur’s interim committee comprised Benjamin Malios (chairman), Muta (head coach), Andrew Posai (marketing manager) and Raka (manager/administrator).
Former Kandrian/Gloucester MP Posai urged corporate entities in the province to assist the team to achieve its objectives.
“WNB Tavur is now going to fly the flag of the province in this premier competition, importantly carrying the pride of WNB province throughout the entire NSL season so it’s going to be an eye opener for a lot of people in the province,” he said.
Malios thanked West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel, the acting provincial administrator Stephen Raphael and Kimbe town mayor Jackson Engo for making financial commitments to support the team.
Meanwhile, Gigira Laitepo Morobe FC franchise owner Tuguyawini Libe Parindali denied that the club had lost his sponsorship.
Parindali said he was looking for a suitable manager for the club after former Lae Football Association president and Morobe United mentor Tokey Mambare was removed.
He added that Morobe province would be the big loser if the NSL board axes Morobe United and University FC from the 2013 season.
“I will put the money but someone must come in quickly to save Morobe football especially in Lae city,” he said.
LFA vice-president Roy Kameng made an urgent trip to Port Moresby yesterday to meet with Parindali and discuss the issue.