Hekari departs for New Zealand for champions’ league

Soccer giants MRDC Hekari United FC departed today for New Zealand to participate in the Oceania Football Confederation Champions’ League Challenge.

The competition will be held in Auckland and Wellington from April 8-23, 2016.

The 25-men squad traveled to New Zealand via Brisbane and will have a few days’ preparation before their first match.

The team consists of national representatives Ismael Pole, Leslie Kalai, Felix Komolong, Sammy Cambell, Daniel Joe, Koriak Upaiga, Jeremy Yasasa, Otto Kusunan, Emmanuel Simon, David Muta, Wira Wama, Papalau Awele and Tommy Semmy. 

Hekari is placed in Group B alongside Team Wellington (NZL), Suva FA (FIJ) and AS Lossi (NCL).

The PNG side will kick off their campaign on Saturday, April 9, playing against Team Wellington in the group stage of the competition.

Team Wellington is hoping they can once again topple their opponent after securing a 2-0 victory in 2015.

Team manager Vonnie Kapi-Natto said the team has prepared well leading up to this competition.

She said this level of competition is very high and the team needs to focus and take every game seriously following their grand final defeat to Lae City Dwellers in the National Soccer League last month.

Dwellers will be making their regional debut and will travel to New Zealand during the week.

They’re placed in Group A alongside Auckland City FC (NZL), Amicale FC (VAN) and Solomon Islands club champions (SOL).

Quintina Naime