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PNG Touch Footy Team set for World Cup

As the 2024 Touch Football World Cup draws near, the Papua New Guinea Touch Football Team are working on the final touches and polishing up the rough edges to prepare themselves well for the international event slated from July 15-21 in Nottingham, England.

A total of 112 players will travel to the United Kingdom the following week to take part in the World Cup. The players will compete in seven divisions: three Open Divisions and four Seniors or Masters. The team comprises Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions, and Open Mixed Division.

This will be PNG's seventh World Cup appearance.The national touch footy team last tasted success in the 2015 tournament, walking away with a bronze medal. They did well again in the 2019 World Cup held in Malaysia, but bowed out in the semi final.

With both men’s and women’s teams sitting in the top 10 ranking globally, they will be under pressure to deliver in Nottingham. It will be a tough ask for the players to live up to the people’s expectations and make their presence known.

A few of the senior players have been training for the world event since the 2023 Pacific Games, while those who recently joined the squad started their training alongside the seasoned campaigners earlier in March, this year.

With exactly two weeks to go before the event kicks off, PNG Touch Football Team Manager, Andrew Oli, gave an update of the team’s preparations and travelling arrangement.

“Preparations are well into the final stages. We are just awaiting our travel to be organized before we head out to England,” Oli said.

A senior open women’s player, Vavine Yore, echoed Mr. Oli’s sentiments and gave a brief rundown on the team’s preparations so far.

“In terms of performance-preparation, I can say that we’ve done everything we can to prepare ourselves for the world cup. We have a good balance of experience and new players coming in, so we are confident that we will put up a good performance in England,” Yore stated.

With over three months of gruelling and intensive training sessions, the players are refreshed, energised and looking forward to being competitive in the upcoming world tournament.  

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