AUSTRALIAN-based ace striker Tommy Semmy has confirmed his availability to join the PNG Men’s National team for the MSG Prime Minister Cup in Port Vila Vanuatu in September.
The Wau-Bulolo raised East Sepik man plays for club Altona Magic FC in Melbourne who had just ended their season proper. Also joining from Australia is another young Western and West Sepik kid Israel Grese who will be making his debut for PNG at this Vanuatu tournament.
PNG Technical Director Paul Isorua said with consultation with his two coaches Marcus Gusmao and Harrison Kamake, he has brought in several players as well which include Bruce Tiampo (Lae City FC), Willie Napina (Star Mountains FC) and Ferdahlas Namuesh Sylvester Wafihunia (Morobe Wawens FC) have been called up to join the team for the training. Also named in the initial team list but not listed in error is veteran midfield maestro Jacob Sabua
All players are currently in pre-NSL season training with their respective clubs which is a big advantage coming into the national team training camp. PNGFA mindful of the start of the NSL season has sent formal notice of selections to the players and clubs concerned to obtain their consent before releasing their players for national representative duties.
Since this tournament signals the process of moving younger players into the national senior team as part of the transition process, PNGFA wishes to extend it’s gratitude to notable players such as David Muta, Michael Foster, and Koriak Upaiga just to name a few who were not named in the team. These players and others gave their very best for the country over the years and the challenge is now up to the young players to carry on the trend set by these players.
PNG Football Association President John Kapi Natto when announcing the squad said the team has been selected considering all things and disruptions by the NGE 2022 and is based on player fitness and playing continuity and will consists of youths with supported by select senior players.
He said players selected are fit and have been playing together and the teams’ preparations to the tournament will be strengthen their playing structure and game flow.
“The draws are good for us given our preparation time. We play the Vanuatu Development side on the 17th September and a week later we play their senior side. The top two teams go to the semi finals.”
Mr Kapi Natto thanked the PNG Government through the PNG Sports Foundation who are taking carriage of the team as this is a regional government initiative sanctioned by the Oceania Football Confederation and FIFA as a tier 1 tournament and will contribute to our rankings.
He said PNGFA will use this as preparations for the 2023 Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands and early preparations for the 2024 OFC qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup which for the first time will see OFC having one direct entry to the World Cup.
Mr Kapi Natto also said the team is looking forward to celebrating the country’s independence celebrations on the 16th September with the PNG community in Port Vila.
The full squad is Russel Chris, Roland Warisan, Ismael Pole (Goalkeeper), Abel Redenut, Alwin Komolong, Felix Komolong, Daniel Joe, Moses Joe, Philip Steven, Godfrey Haro, Emmanuel Simon, Yagi Yasasa, Gregory Togubai, Ricky Wadunah, Joseph Waiwai, Obert Simon, Stahl Gubag, Nigel Dabinyaba, Ati Kepo, Kolu Kepo, Mathew David, Raymond Gunemba, Jonathan Allen, Pala Paul Israel Grese
Team Management: Head Coach Marcos Gusmao, Assistant Coach Harrison Kamake, Physio Jimmy Kepas and Team Manager Nigel Kiaka