Papua New Guinea U-19 national team will open their OFC U-19 Championship campaign against Qualifier winners Tonga at Stade Pater in Tahiti on Monday at 3.00 pm.
Coach Harrison Kamake who has spent the season coaching the Besta PNG United team in the National Soccer League in Papua New Guinea, which is the development squad who most of these players have come through.
Although there’s a number who play outside this team, Kamake said club rivalries stay off the pitch when they come together for national duties.
The Harrison Kamake coached-side are focused on the task ahead, but remain tight-lipped about their chances.
“Everyone is here to compete and we’ll see how we go. But we’re happy and excited to be here, “Kamake said.
Opposing coach Soane Mailangi will hope to see his team do their countrymen proud with their performance against Papua New Guinea.
Mailangi said although his side can ultimately be considered the underdogs of the tournament, they trust in their abilities.
“In our preparation, as soon as we came through the first stage we started thinking about our preparations for the second stage,” he said.
“We know what we did, we know what we’re doing. We’re looking forward to our first game against Papua New Guinea.”
Papua New Guinea: 1. Baxter Morris (GK), 2. Laventine Monuo, 3. Kimson Kapai, 4. Sylvester Luke, 5. Freeman Giwi, 6. Ricky Wadunah, 7. Emmanuel Simongi, 8. Stahl Gubag, 9. Barthy Kerobin, 10. Obert Simon, 11. Yagi Yasasa, 13. Cameron Nuabi, 15. Binniget Luaine, 16. Jonathan Allen, 17. Dopson Noi, 18. Wolfram Gregory, 19. Abraham Allen, 20. Graham Berigami (GK).
Coach: Harrison Kamake (PNG)
Tonga: 1. Semisi Otukolo (GK), 2. Petueli Tototaha, 3. Sione Tu’ifangai, 4. Ofa Kite, 5. Tevita Vakatapu, 6. Vai Lutu, 7. Tuia Falepapalangi, 8. Kalakaua Faivailo, 9. Tevita Kau, 10. Mohammad Rajani, 11. Viliami Tukia, 12. Tevita Sili, 13. Opesi Tu’ifangaloko, 14. Sione Va’enuku, 15. Jacob Kilmartin, 16. Tellos Kaufusi, 17. Atunaisa Namoa, 19. Setafano Vaomo’unga, 20. Sionela Lui (GK)
Coach: Soane Mailangi (TGA)