by Jeremy Mogi – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
The PNG women’s national team is quietly confident of retaining their position as champions during the Pacific Games, and have been showing promising signs as their training camp comes to an end.
With the majority of their players selected from the youth and lower divisions, this is easily the youngest team to represent Papua New Guinea at senior international level.
Having had a good preparation leading up to the Pacific Games, with the team focusing on gelling well, and perfecting technique, Gary Philips’ side took to the pitch with the sole purpose of improving.
Looking sharp on the ball, and with hunger for winning on their minds, the 23 young women in the squad have largely flown under the radar in recent weeks, having a somewhat quieter preparation.
The squad has had a number of changes to their roster, particularly after the PNG Games held in Lae last year, and Philips has had relatively good success over the handful of matches the team has played together
The team showed glimpses of the potential they have defeating the U17 development side by one goal in a tough and surprisingly physical encounter, showing that this is a side not afraid to take their game to other Pacific opponents.
This is one of the youngest teams to represent the country with head coach Gary Philips maintaining only five members of the side that won gold four years ago in Noumea.
He’ll be banking on the youth and speed they possess, in the likes of the Gunemba sisters Meagan and Judith, alongside the experience of captain Deslyn Siniu and fellow defender Dorcas Sesevo.
Individual players aside, the belief within the team is strong, the same spirit to be carried onto to the pitch when they meet Fiji on 6 July.