Hunters and Kumul Coach Michael Marum have announced the team at their training session at National Football Stadium.
Fifty-three men squad during the start of the pre-season training was trimmed down to thirty-three with the inclusion of four academic players selected to be part of the training team. Coach Marum said their one week training at Goroka was tough in which made him to release some senior players during the training because of failing to pass fitness test.
Marum said the squad made of experience players as well in which he believes is a bonus for the club. With the comeback of Israel Eliab and the Wellington brothers, it will motivate the players.
Coach Marum also said future of Hunters club will also depends on young and talented players when asked about the four academic players. He said involvement of the players is to assist them to gain experience for future big match and training as well. The four will be release to their Digicel Cup teams and hopefully will make it again into the Hunters Squad.
The make-up see’s 14 players from last season retained, nine new players brought in and six amongst the returning players from the 2015 season. The 14 retained are Adex Wera, Ase Boas, Bland Abavu, Buttler Morris, Edward Goma, Enoch Maki, Esau Siune, Henry Wan, Ismael Balkawa, Silas Gahuna, Stargroth Amean, Wartovo Puara Jr, Watson Boas and William Aquila. The new inclusions are Anderson Benford, Radley Bawa, Eddie Dafa, Junior Rop, Karo Kauna Jnr, Moses Meninga, Nixon Put, Wawa Paul and Wellington Albert. Making their return after not being part of the squad last season are inaugural skipper Israel Eliab (Izzy), backrower David Loko, utility Lawrence Tu’u, dynamic Noel Joel, Stanton Albert and the Wapenemanda ‘Mac Truck’ Willie Minoga.
Meanwhile, spots will be available for Digicel Cup players during the tournament. They will have only one trial match next month in Cairns against Northern Pride.
Their objective for this year is to make it into the final.