21 Sep 2010

PNG Hekari well aware of challenge in front of them

1:34 pm on 21 September 2010

O'League football champions Hekari United of Papua New Guinea say they're well aware of the challenge facing them in December's Club World Cup tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Hekari are the first Oceania club from outside Australia or New Zealand to qualify for the Club World Cup following their success in the O-League last season...and face a tough ask to match Auckland City's feat last year of finishing fifth.

In preparation for the tournament, which will feature the likes of European Champions Inter Milan, the Papua New Guinea club have just completed a short tour of New Zealand with a 4-2 victory over Waikato FC in Hamilton.

It followed a 3-all draw with the New Zealand Under 20 side last week and a 3-nil loss to Auckland City.

Hekari's chairman and team owner, John Kapi Natto, says the fixtures have given the side a clear indication of where they're at and what still needs to be improved upon in the next few months.

"We still want to try and look at the combinations of the flow of the team and the discipline and all that and see how we can go on from that and to do better. We don't want to do down below the average of what Auckland City have done - I mean they've done a good job. We have a lot of work on our hands."

John Kapi Natto says he's hopeful that they will be able to draft in some aded coaching expertise to Papua New Guinea to help with their preparations.