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Manus Soccer Association Championships successful!

After some years of dormancy, Manus Soccer Association successfully hosted a 10-day Open Club Championships at Prince William Oval which concluded last week. The championships were held from April 24th to May 3rd.

The championship saw 49 teams with 22 players from Manus Province. These teams represented various wards/communities within 10 of the 12 local level governments.

Coming out as champions for the weeklong battles to claim 1st placing trophy with K4000 Cash prize was Triple X Football Club. This was followed by Pitilu Football Club on 2nd spot with K3000 and a trophy as well. Walking away with 3rd placing with K2000 and another trophy was RSOL Football Club. Tamat Football won K1000 and a trophy on 4th placing.

There were also other awards presented like the golden boot, leadership, player of the tournament, defender of the tournament, midfielder of the tournament, etc.

“The competition structure to this MSA Club Championships was planned to see the team that comes first to represent Manus in the 2023 PNGFA NGI Lag of the PNGFA Club Championships on which the winner will represent the NGI region into the PNGFA National Club Championships in August and September Respectively”, stated the Association's General Secretary Cyrus Pomat Langarap.

The soccer competition was usually held at the local level (ward and community) whereby each ward winner got to represent their local level government to the Manus Soccer Association.

However, due to the football program being dormant across Manus Province over the past couple of years, MSA decided to stage an open tournament. This was to gauge interest across the province.

“This year, as an inaugural tournament, Manus Soccer Association decided to have it as an open tournament to see and gauge interest from across the province. This was in order to increase promotion and awareness. This was due to the football program being almost dormant across Manus’s province over the past couple of years”, said Cyrus-Rhys Pomat Langarap.

More so, according to the Manus Soccer Association General Secretary, “Originally, the Manus Soccer Association Club Championship is the 2nd tier of the Provincial Club Championships Soccer Program; this means at the ward and community level, each member associated with Manus SA will have to first have their Annual Seasons Competition whereby only the winning team after the annual season will represent the community association to the Manus Soccer Association Club Championships”.

The championships were sponsored by the office of the Manus Regional Member and Governor of Manus-Honourable Charlie Benjamin.

Speaking at the Closing ceremony and presentation was Manus Regional Member and Governor of Manus-Honourable Charlie Benjamin. He commended the participating teams for showing true sportsmanship in sports during the games.

"I would like to thank all the players, officials, supporters, and everyone who contributed to making our soccer game run smoothly", said Governor Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin.

In his speech, he also challenged soccer teams, coaches and everyone to work hard to raise soccer standards in Manus Province. He also challenged everyone to create a top soccer team that is recognized nationally.

Meanwhile, Manus SA is now ready to work with participating clubs to revive fraternities to carry the soccer initiative forward. In 2024, the MSA Club Championships will see only 16 teams representing 8 Manus regions participating.

Photo Credit: Mwakilia Piksa

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