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Port Moresby
January 19, 2021
Football Sport

Soccer Glory Days

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As we approach the eve of the National Soccer League (NSL) competition, we caught up with a former National Coach and Soccer Administrator on his views regarding the NSL competition.

Mark Petrakis, General Manager of Fuji Xerox in the Nation’s capital, was a former footballer in his native Australia, and upon arriving on our shores in 1985, has seen PNG’s football highs, and lows.

 

The announcement by PNG Football Association President, David Chung, that 2014 could see major changes and improvements in our standard of the game, has been seen as a step taken in the right direction

 

As the highly anticipated National Soccer League competition approaches its opening day, and with club sides already heavily involved in training and preparation, former National Coach, Mark Petrakis, has stated that apart from top level competition, development of local competitions and associations could also boost the quality of players.

 

Highlights of his career in PNG have been events like the Melanesian Cup of 1988, where PNG beat countries like Samoa and Fiji, losing narrowly to powerhouse Australia by small margins. This was only topped by his memories of the Under 18 Lae squad of the early 90s, that wrestled the crown of PNG champions away from a dominant Port Moresby team.

 

While disappointments like watching the ‘91 Pacific Games finals from the sidelines with former captain, Geoffrey Emang, are still fresh memories.

 

The NSL and women’s NSL is now the goal and target by young soccer players all over the country.

 

Perhaps it is images of PNG’s glory days like these that we can reminisce on and hopefully emulate and exceed, come our chance on the big stage.

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