by Jeremy Mogi – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
The Port Moresby Soccer Association (PMSA) has already begun preparations for the Southern Leg of the Besta Regional tournament, scheduled for September.
Despite having had a continuous competition over the past 12 months, the squad is amongst a number of southern regional associations vying for a place in the National Championships.
The Association has over the years been regarded as one of the best in the country, with one of the largest collections of clubs and teams and an active youth and women’s program.
In the Telikom National Soccer League competition, the association has provided players for FC Port Moresby, Admiralty, Oro FC and previously Eastern Stars, with Hekari having players from feeder association Public Servants Soccer Association.
PMSA has always proven itself to be a force to be reckoned with on a national level.
However, without a competition due to the closure of the old bisini parade grounds due to the Pacific Games, it remains to be seen how competitive the association can be.
Other Associations which may prove to be strong will come from the central province, with Kaupa being one of the toughest to beat and one that PMSA has struggled with in the past.
Milne Bay is expected to send a strong squad as well as the province has traditionally been a footballing strong-hold, but apart from success in the PNG games in 2012, the province has not been able to secure any championship status.
Oro on the other are still considered dark horses and have yet to reach their full potential, despite the province producing some of the best players the country has ever seen.
Both provinces have successful amateur competitions; for Milne Bay, it is the Kula Cup and the Eastern Papua Carnival, while the Oro Cup remains part of the province’s showpiece in Port Moresby.
The Southern regional leg of the tournament had initially been scheduled for Kiunga in the Western Province to host, however due to issues over the venue and the OK Tedi mine closure, it will most likely be held in Port Moresby.