Flemming Serritslev believes that PNG may find themselves in the final stage of the OFC world cup qualifying campaign against new Zealand.
Wary of the Solomons Islands, Serritslev is of the positive opinion that he will have the full complement of his squad, which includes his overseas based players.
Papua New Guinea now find themselves in a position that over two years ago, had almost seemed unattainable. And while the positive corollaries of that achievement have not been lost on the Dane, he realises only too well, the looming challenge ahead.
With the Government’s announcement on dual citizenship seen as a boost, Serritslev is now hoping to have the full complement of his squad ready for the Solomon Islands.
This will also give an opportunity for Flemming to boost his squad.
Currently four players have been named in his world cup qualifying squad, but who have been unable to take the field due to visa restrictions.
These players include Asian-based Brad McDonald, as well as Aaron Spain, Jamie Woodlock and George Slefendorfas. All of whom have been playing competitive football overseas, as well as having Papua New Guinean heritage. And their added input into a squad in transition will no doubt boost PNG’s chances.
Meanwhile, the PNG Football Association is still awaiting a decision from FIFA’s disciplinary committee, regarding midfielder David Browne’s red card. A request for a downgrade has been submitted, with a decision to be handed down, later this month.
After the Tahiti victory, there had been consternation regarding the spine of the squad, however the coach, to date is pleased with the performance of his current midfield.
The Solomon Islands recently announced a full strength, Honiara-based, training camp, featuring some of the biggest names in the country, with veteran skipper Henry Faárado and futsal maestro, Micah Leaálafa headlining. Other names include Tutizama Tanito and Joachim Waroi, who both had stints in the Telikom National Soccer League, and PNG is wary of their Melanesian counterparts.
PNG had a loss and a win against Tahiti, with a golden opportunity for advancement against their next opponents. Mathematically speaking, Papua New Guinea only need a draw and a win against SI, but the Bonitos will be no easy beats.