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Women’s team target title defence

The team under coach Gary Philips had been in camp at the PNGFA Academy for the last two weeks since returning from their Asia tour to fine-tune their preparation.

Philips said the team is in good position despite couple of injuries but so far happy with this team which blended with youth and experience.

He said the team’s target is always gold and anything less than will be disappointing.

“As defending champions we are wary of being hunted but I am confident in the progress of this squad as individuals and a group,” said Philips.

The team won three consecutive gold medals since the introduction of women’s football into the Pacific Games in 2003 in Suva, Fiji.

Two members of the team- skipper Deslyn Siniu and assistant team manageress Miriam Lanta – will treat the 2015 Pacific Games as special as it will be their fourth and final Games.

Siniu and Lanta won the inaugural women’s gold medal in Suva, and have been together in the last two Pacific Games except for next week’s Pacific Games. The former (Siniu) will lead the team as skipper while Lanta will be an official.

Playing on home ground would be a great advantage for the PNG women’s team, who will have to win the gold medal to play against New Zealand for and home-and-away challenge for the Rio 2016 spot.

Squad: Fidelma Watpore, Lace Kunei, Judith Gunemba, Deslyn Siniu (captain), Dorcas Sesevo, Talitha Irakau, Marie Kaipu, Georgina Kaikas, Fatima Rama, Grace Steven, Kesai Kotome, Sandra Birum, Meagan Gunemba, Jenisa Ulengit, Aida Gerota, Carolyn Obi, Yvonne Gabong, Belinda Giada, Nicolla Niaman, Ramona Padio, Joelyn Hehul, Lucy Maino, Barbara Muta. Officials: Head coach – Gary Philips, Assistant coach – Rachel Wadunah, Team manager – Diana Tasion, Assistant team manager – Miriam Lanta, Physio – Stanley Pokasap.

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