As the 2020/21 Women’s National Soccer League heads to its first matchday this weekend in Papua New Guinea, one traditional football family in the country expects the best from the revamped national league that is exciting the fans all over the country; the Gunembas are involved with their local regional club in Lae, Poro FC. “It’s good to develop up more young up coming players plus improve the standard of the current players“, says the decorated Raymond Gunemba, that is Poro’s assistant coach.
Alongside Raymond in the coaching staff, his younger brother, Troy Gunemba, holding OFC license coaching badge is the heading coach of the team that expects to impress at the PNGWNSL this new season. But not only the Gunembas are involved in Poro, but as well another important names of Papua New Guinean football: PNG Kapuls star Nigel Dabinyaba is one of the team trainers alongside Lae City’s goalkeeper Matheson Nasa, the goalkeeper coach of the team.
But the family is not only at the sidelines: one of the most important footballers of the country – and sister of Troy and Raymond – is the team captain of Poro: Meagan Gunemba. The striker was responsible for a series of important appearances of PNG Women’s Football at regional level, including the recent gold medal won at 2019 Pacific Games held in Samoa.
“I believe 2023 PNG Women’s team will be playing to qualify for the world cup – PNG women’s are the top in the Pacific – so it is good to build the team and try to beat New Zealand and make it through to the World Cup. Women’s entry in the World Cup is easier and our girls have a big opportunities to make it“, said Raymond Gunemba to Oceania Football Center, expecting the best for women’s football in Papua New Guinea.
When thinking about the competition that is ahead, Raymond is positive about his team: “Preperation is going well. Two months of training and the team is looking good so far – just some small areas we need to improve“. When is asked about the chances of Poro of lifting the trophy at PNGWNSL, the assistant coach is cautios: “well it’s too early to predict that, the season didn’t start yet, so we have to play our games firsta and see our performance and the performances of the other teams“.
Poro’s first challenge in the Women’s National Soccer League will be this weekend against Rainy Lae.