23 Oct 2010

Transfers ensure intrigue in Pacific O-League football opening round

9:48 am on 23 October 2010

The new O-League football season kicks off this afternoon with a transfer merry-go-round providing a number of tantalising matchups.

Papua New Guinea's Hekari United are the new defending champions, and as Vinnie Wylie reports, their rivals haven't been shy in trying to plan their downfall.

"Hekari United open their title defence at home to Vanuatu champions Amicale FC, who've have added former Hekari players in Alick Maemae and Stanley Waita to their team."

It's likely to be a testy return for the duo, after Waiata was sacked by the club and Maemae chose to walk. Amicale have also bolstered their line-up with the signing of former Koloale captain Richard Anisua to ensure they're competitive in their O-League debut. Hekari have been slightly more circumspect in the transfer market but have added experienced Solomon Islands international Henry Fa'arodo to the mix, as they prepare for December's Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.

Koloale FC take on Fijian champions Lautoka and will rely heavily on their star signing and new captain, Benjamin Totori, who has returned home after a long stint playing in New Zealand.

Meanwhile in Group B matches over the weekend former champions Auckland City host New Caledonian side Magenta, while Waitakere United entertain Tahitian side, Tefana.