With Thailand ranked 31 places higher than Papua New Guinea, the PNG women’s aim now is to beat them which would help improve on the national team’s world ranking and also be a great result heading into the Pacific games. PNG is ranked 48.
Coach Gary Philips said this is an opportunity to play any team competing at that level will be a magnificent challenge especially with Thailand who are well advanced in their preparation for Canada so this is a big opportunity after our disappointment of losing to New Zealand to gain a World Cup spot.
The 21 women squad, including three officials, left Port Moresby on Saturday with high hopes of winning their international fixtures against Singapore and Thailand.
The team’s friendlies begins with matches against Singapore scheduled on 4 and 6 March, will then spend nine days in Thailand with games against the national team programmed for 11 and 14 March, before the squad returns home on the 16 March.
Philips thanked the PNG Olympic Committee for their generous support. He also acknowledged the Grassroots Go for Gold programme which funded the trip.
The 21-strong PNG women’s squad: Fidelma Watpore, Dorcas Sesevo, Meagen Gunemba, Grace Steven, Judith Gunemba, Carolyn Obi, Daisy Winas, Kesai Kotome, Jenisa Ulengit, Rumona Morris, Nicolla Niaman, Bridget Kadu, Marie Kaipu, Cathy Samson, Deslyn Siniu, Vali Alisandra Aipi, Fatima Rama, Michealle Kurabi, Aida Gerota, Lucy Philomena Maino, Abigayle Gabrielle Metta; Gary Phillips (head coach), Rachel Wadunah (assistant coach), Miriam Lanta (Team Manageress).