By Jeremy Mogi – EMTV Sport, Port Moresby
In the Telikom National Soccer League (NSL), the signs are looking good for Southern Conference leaders Hekari United as they prepare to battle on two fronts in 2016.
Plans for the club to reach the second stage of the NSL are on track, as well as their continued participation in the Oceania Champions League.
Hekari Manager, Vonnie Kapi Natto, has said that while she is excited she knows full well how difficult it is going to be, and the club will need to work harder to maintain that top spot. A few more days remain until the resumption of the NSL, and amidst transfers for other teams, Hekari will be looking at boosting their squad and one of those names touted to join the club is midfielder Wira Wama.
Alongside that, the return of Tommy Semmy from serious injury is an added bonus. Semmy, who top scored for the club in the 2014/15 season, is expected to provide further attacking options for the side that is already brimming with talent.
With five wins from five matches Hekari have shot straight to the top of the Southern Conference, scoring 16 goals along the way. Hekari have also found a new diamond in the rough, through defender-cum-striker, Koriak Upaiga.
“That’s right, I think he scored 7 goals in 5 games, amazing, from a defender to up front. We were very excited about that and I think that we felt that he can remain there in our championships, can be a great help for us.
“Because with our young Tommy and Rodney and Papalau, we have a good team, have good forwards up front. [In] saying that I have strong faith but see how we go,” said Vonnie Kapi Natto.
Upaiga has so far scored half of Hekari’s goals. A feat astounding considering it’s his first season up front.
Hekari will join Lae City Dwellers for the Oceania Champions League. Lae, who themselves are at the top of the Northern Conference and who hold a precarious one point lead over Welgris, face Auckland City in the second week of April.
Kapi Natto, is adamant both clubs will do Papua New Guinea proud.