Western Highlands Development Corporation (WHDC) Hagen Eagles have selected the final 27-man squad for the bemobile Cup season.
Head coach Joseph McConnor said yesterday that 60% of the team was made up of young players and a handful of old hands, such as skipper Benny Pamunda, George Baker, David Rombuk, Leo Koipa and Alphonse Kapil.
He said young halfback Willie Guambo would be directing the traffic for the team and would be assisted by five-eighth Pung Tumb. McConnor added that his main challenge would be to finalise a 22-man squad after the trial match against Simbu Warriors.
“I will be using this trial to establish the players’ combination and assess the pivotal roles so that a workable solution is established to match our opposition when the bemobile Cup challenge starts on April 25,” he said. McConnor is positive that Eagles will be competitive and restore some lost pride in the province. He thanked the sponsors and the board for arranging the selection trials. He is looking forward for their first match against Enga Mioks in Mt Hagen.
There will be a lot of surprises and he expects a good number of spectators to flock to the field to see their Western Highlands franchise in action on the day. The full squad: Jacob Kuringi, Ray Ruing, Nos Gabriel, David Rombuk, Alphonse Kapil, Pung Timbil, Willie Guambo, Benny Pamunda, Steven Mapa, George Baker, William Onda, Darren Mikal, Samson Philip, Sent Nonggor, Andrew Namnam, Titua Darua, Daniel Las, Junior Lawrence, Leo Koipa, McQuinn Kunjil, Brian Tu, Mams Wek, Thomas Atep, David Tikily, George Benson, Elijah Padi and Wanpis Poning.
The team management: McConnor (head coach, John Waka (trainer), Ruben Ruing (assistant coach/trainer), Dr Stanley Mamando (team doctor) and James Pini (team manager).