By Jeremy Mogi – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
Hekari FC has ramped up preparations for this season’s Telikom National Soccer League (NSL).
While a loss to Madang FC in the semi-finals last season is now a distant memory, the club has gone all out in recruiting fresh and exciting new talent.
Youth has been the theme for this year’s Hekari outfit.
Former striker Kema Jack has taken a back seat role, as he looks to assist head coach Jerry Allen in creating a new brand of player for the club.
Last season’s semi-finals saw Hekari lose to a rampant Madang FC, at the Laiwaden. And a number of players from that team are no longer part of this season’s squad.
Manager, Vonnie Kapi Natto, has looked abroad to bring in a cluster of seasoned campaigners, as well as promote her younger team members.
The new season of the NSL will feature two conferences, and Hekari is also wary of the threat posed by other Port Moresby-based franchises.
Hekari will be fighting on two fronts, just as they have for a number of years now.
Not only do they have the domestic competition to deal with, they will also be taking on the rest of the Pacific’s best in the Oceania Champions League.
This time however they will not be alone, as grand final winners, Lae City Dwellers, will join them in their debut season.
Draws for the National Soccer League have yet to be released, but Hekari will not be taking any team in the southern conference lightly.