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Friday, January 18, 2008

In Sport: Former SI coach takes over PNG U23

PNG Football Association has secured the services of former Solomon Island national coach George Cowie to boost its Under 23 Olympic qualifier in March. The Australian-based Scottish, the man behind the reemergence of soccer in Solomon Islands, will now take charge of PNG Under 23 team.

The Olympic qualifier from March 1-13 has attracted six teams from the Oceania region, which include New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Cook Islands.

Cowie replaces Brazillian Marcos Gusmao whose contract was unceremoniously terminated by Papua New Guinea Football Association for failing to produce the results with the Under 20 team.

The Scottish said having been to Solomon Islands in the last three years, he should have a fair bit of idea how Papua New Guinea players behave. He said he was happy with his short contract and would give his best shot.

He said it was a very short time and urged PNGFA to bring all the players as soon as possible. “The sooner we start and get moving in preparing the team,” he said.

Cowie said he was proud to be selected from the strong field of coaches to help PNG take soccer into the next level. “I am totally committed to do what I am suppose to do and can’t wait,” he said with a smile.

He also demanded a 100 % commitment from the players selected. The players must have a strong mind set, fit and very strong and can play a very good football. Cowie said he did not want to make promises but asked the players to make their commitment when they are in the camp.

PNGFA technical Chairman Joe Turia said OFC strongly recommended Cowie to PNGFA for a short stint and if everything went well, they might extend it further for some months.

Source: The National Newspaper.

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