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Alwin Komolong, Pacific Games Ambassador

The 20-year-old Karkar Islander, Madang, was named in the 21-man squad for Solomon Islands tour and is hoping to impress coach Riki Herbert to earn a spot for the Pacific Games in Port Moresby from July 4-18.

The lanky midfielder has represented the country at the youth levels, captaining the PNG U-20 team during the 2014 OFC U-20 Championship.

Komolong captained the PNG U-17 team during the 2011 OFC Championship, scoring two goals in the tournament.

“I feel honoured to be considered for the Pacific Games,” Komolong said.

“This tournament is being used as a qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games, so if we win, Papua New Guinea will get step closer Rio.”

Komolong will look to lead the men’s team to a medal for the first time in the nation’s history.

The country’s men’s teams have never won a medal at the Pacific Games, while the women are three-time defending champions.

“I feel playing at home in such a tournament will really heighten the nerves, but at the same time give us even more momentum and strength to win.

After stints learning the trade in Australia and in the National Soccer League, Komolong headed to Germany as a 14-year-old to visit family, and ended up playing for a local club for a year-and-a-half.

From there he returned to Papua New Guinea for the local development squad for two years before traveling to New Zealand for the OFC U-17 Championship in 2011.

Komolong earned a scholarship to stay in Auckland and play for Liston College where he finished his high school.

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