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MT Hagen Soccer Association getting the house in order

By Joel PURI              SportsTok Magazine | Combine Issue #97, SEPTEMBER 2021

In a province like Western Highlands where rugby league is dominant than other sports, it only diminishes the light of other codes and football is no exception amidst many sporting codes that walks in the shadows of rugby league in Western Highland.
Frankly, football in Mt Hagen have been neglected for over a decade until this year 2021, where PNG Football Association seek to restore soccer in the country by reviving its Member Association’s and MT Hagen MA is one of those many others.
Mt Hagen Soccer Association now is a merger of two altered associations in Hagen Central and Hagen Soccer Association then, after PNGFA with its legal committees went through diligent processes and elected Mr. Samuel Kini as the President of the MHSA.
Western Highlands people are known for rugby league, but that does not limit them to play other sports as they are also good in other codes such as Volleyball, Basketball, AFL, Rugby Union and Soccer as well.
Some of the greatest footballers who came out from Mt Hagen Soccer Association back then were: Pius Letenge current PNGFA General Secretary, Hungia Aiyoka, Mathis Apo current Lae City Toti FC Assistant Coach, Robert Upaiga to name a few.  
Of those big names, Samuel Kini the current President of MHSA and Koriak Upaiga current Hekari United have gone past to represent PNG in the national duties.
Mt Hagen Soccer has been producing legends and still has the potential to produce many talents today, then again, as they say, everything falls and rises through leadership.
Buckling up with the visionary President spearheading PNGFA results in the development of football in PNG through reviving of the Member Associations.
Mt Hagen Soccer Association President Mr. Samuel Kini said that, MHSA is a member association to PNGFA and its aim is to develop the best footballers and improve football to the highest level accordingly.



With that aim, Mt Hagen SA hosted a pre-season 7-aside competition to mark the revamp of football in Mt Hagen after 12 years of inconsistency due to divergence of the Association then.The 7-aside competition has attracted 24 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams to participate in preparation towards the proper season opener which saw 10 clubs showing interest to compete in the Mt Hagen SA local competition.The 10 clubs are: Tribes FC, Bishop FC, Tarangau FC, Aigobian FC, Hagen United FC, Masa FC, Blue Kumuls FC, Kande Kulung FC, Ailan FC and SMK FC.Mt Hagen Soccer Association was proudly supported by Panamex under the brand ‘Blue Sea’ in the last year’s competition with massive prizes and have pledged again this year to support the association’s proper season.However, the pre-season 7-aside is sponsored by Digicel PNG with awards and Prizes.“Our proper season for this year 2021 will be played only for two and half months as we’re running against time due to the current Covid-19 surge affecting the country,” President Samuel said.Samuel have learnt a lot while being with the Hekari United FC for seven years as a player and the most powerful weapon behind all success during those times he noticed was discipline, in which God always comes first.He wishes to steer the MHSA through discipline as a young president under the leadership of PNGFA President John Kapi Natto.“I am very humbled and honoured to become part of the change that is happening in PNGFA and many more still to come,” he said.Samuel stated that, the future of Mt Hagen Soccer is very bright with a lot of talents identified, after clearing obstacles along the path and they are looking forward in working together to elevate Mt Hagen Soccer aligning with PNG football standard and going forward.“I am striving with my new executives to develop the best players through promoting the development of football and strengthen good governance principles and practices in Hagen Soccer,” he said.In line with the development of Soccer in Mt Hagen, two courses of coaching and referees have been successfully completed with almost 60 young men and women participating.Samuel thanked the PNGFA President for such initiative taken to uplift member associations so they can have many referees and coaches at the MA’s.Additionally, it will be a privilege for Mt Hagen Soccer Association after a very long time to host the FIFA Women’s referee course from the 11th to the 15th of October which will house FIFA Instructors to facilitate the course with participants that will be coming from all around the country.With much interesting times ahead Mt Hagen Soccer is dedicated to reviving and restoring its former glory by bringing out the bests in the Province.

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