by Jeremy Mogi – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
The BESTA FA Regional tournament held in Goroka has attracted 16 teams from five provinces in the Highlands, hosted at the National Sport Institute.
Teams wasted little time in getting to the pitch, with the opportunity to travel to the national championships on the cards for the winners.
The tournament has attracted association teams from the adjoining provinces with Simbu, Kutubu, Mt Hagen, Mendi, Wabag, Kainantu and hosts Goroka, who’ve fielded two sides
This has applied to both the men’s and women’s divisions. The associations are fully supportive in sending a balanced representation.
Speaking with Goroka’s head coach, Philip Maino, Mt Hagen could be the team to watch out for during the three-day competition.
Preparation for his team had been largely restricted with the annual Goroka Show wreaking havoc on his schedule.
The tournament can also be used as a feeder for the upcoming NSL, and Maino believes that the younger players do have that opportunity available to them.
Over the years the highlands region has been largely neglected, playing second fiddle to rugby league, the dominant sport in the region.
But the cup tournament can be used as a tool to showcase this growing sport.