By LIONEL MUNGAE
The Petroleum Resourced Kutubu sponsored Gulf Isou is set to finalise its 30 men full -strength team in eight weeks time for this years Digicel Cup with retaining experienced players the key focus.
The players from last season are likely to be retained as the team goes into intensive two months training.
Interim Team Manager Raymond Aru told Sunday Chronicle that 70 man train-on-squad have been recruited with the final 30 men to be shortlisted in two months time.
Aru said the bulk of the players were selected from various rugby league associations in Gulf Province with few in the nation’s capital.
“Bulk of the players have been selected from the five rugby associations in the Province including the Kikori rugby league,” he said.
He said four players from Port Moresby Vipers have been recruited to beef up the forward pack for this season.
“The 70 players will go into intensive training and we will focus on their speed and endurance ability until the final 30 is finalised.
“All positions are up for grabs and players have to work hard in training to earn a spot,” Aru said.
He said the team is focusing on developing young aspiring players in the long run, and ensure that team performs consistently week-in, week-out in this year’s Digicel Cup.
“We finished poorly in last years competition, and for this year we are 100% confident to make it into top five,” he said.
Aru said with the inclusion of the two new clubs – Central Dabaris and Kimbe Cutters, and reinstatement of the Mt Hagen Eagles, the competition would be tough.
“Experience is very important for any clubs, and we will look at it. Bulk of the players from last year are back in training and I want them to work hard to earn their spot,” he said.
Aru said the first weeks of training sessions would commence with the orientation of new and old players and medical check-up.