The Sepik Pride Rugby Franchise has had an unfortunate turn of events in 2023 Digicel Cup and now found to be not meeting requirements according to Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL).
PNGRFL stated Sepik Pride lacked three requirements in Governance, Financial Capacity and Affiliate League Associations.
Sepik Pride Franchise co-founding member and Operations Manager Mr. Bradley Simon told PNG HAUSBUNG this in an interview today.
He further acknowledged the respect and love from the communities in Sepik Province.
“Affiliate Leagues are rare to coordinate in a soccer dominant province, our club really reached youth potentials to express their rugby spirit and is currently growing.”
“We currently have two league association in Sepik. I am the only person leading the involvement of youths in communities and it’s exciting to see the growing number of interests.”
“And it is not easy especially for a job without a fortnight salary.”
“What is the purpose of encouraging rugby if you cannot do it at the most famous platform like Digicel Cup?”
“If you understand the requirement of affiliate leagues in general, you will know some don’t qualify as well.”
Mr. Simon stressed that during his first year he stepped down from the position as a franchise board member to better serve his team and share his skills and knowledge where comfortable and needed.
“Yes, we have faced some issues in governance and financial capacity during our first year, but we have been able to turn it around into a successful year.”
“These hiccups have been acknowledged by the club and will force necessary adjustments to take its course within the franchise”.
“Other than that, I don’t see a reason for a suspension.”
Mr Simon also spoke highly and stated his gratitude to his East Sepik provincial ggovernment, sponsors and stakeholders for their continuous support and belief in the franchise during their first and upcoming years year.
“I will see this suspension as a challenge, I will contribute to carry out the PNGRFL requirements.”
“Sepik Pride will be back.”