The team travelled to Korea last month and played two matches with the Korean college teams and then a scrimmage versus the South Korea National Team. This was organised as three 30 minute games so both coaches could try different line ups in preparation for the World Cup.
The PNG U-20 Women’s team manager, Cathy Agunam said the matches in Korea was a good experience for the team. As many of them had not experienced international travel or played a match outside of PNG representing their country internationally.
“What the country should understand is that, most of the girls have come straight from the association and club teams and have not played international tournaments. The matches they played in May and last month are their first few international matches and we hope that this will get the girls accustomed to the level needed to compete at this level,” she said.
Ms Agunam said the last match with Korea was a bonus because the girls got to experience what it would be like to play against a team that had qualified for the World Cup in November.
South Korea finished 3rd in Asia behind Japan and North Korea. North Korea is in PNG’s group in the World Cup.
She said they are hoping to have six to eight games while in the US to allow the girls to build their confidence and experience in playing against top level teams.
The PNG U-20 Women’s team didn’t qualify for the U-20 Women’s World Cup as the OFC spot was claimed by New Zealand but was given a bid as the host nation for the tournament in November. The team had their first two friendlies against the US and Japan U-20 Women’s team during the U-20 Women’s Tri-Nations match that was held in May. Japan is the defending U-17 World Cup Champions.
Ms Agunam said they would like to have a few more matches after their US trip but that would depend on funds but they would like to have some friendly matches in New Zealand or Australia.