The 2020 Digicel Cup Premiers launched their 2021 title defense at the Koitaki Country Club on Friday 30th April 2021. The event coincided with the official announcement of the 35 men playing roster. “Having 7 of the 17 players in last year’s Digicel Cup grand final team in SP Hunters is one of the greatest highlights. It is a loss for the club but also good as we can keep the production line going” said Chairman Andy Hetra.
Hetra said, ‘’the team has done well this year with good local talents from Hela being drafted into pre-season that makes up a third of the team. We have signed up few talents from other centers to have the balance and depth to be competitive and we are happy with the playing stock we have’’.
Kroton Hela Wigmen are known for picking up unknown players and grooming them to be quality players. It’s about the individual players setting their personal goals in a road to self-discovery by working hard, believing in their own ability and being disciplined. Hetra said, we only provide the environment that is conducive for them to flourish. The club culture and system is there to bring the best out of each player. Those players that work hard always do well. Since the club’s inception in 2013 the club won its first premiership in 2014, grand final runner up in 2019 and another premiership again in 2020. Wigmen has always been competitive finishing in the top 6.
The Club officially announced Valentine Culligan and Stanford Talita as co-captains for their title defense. Culligan and Talita are long serving members of the Club. We value their loyalty and both deserve the role. It is an honor to represent the brand and flagship team of the Hela Province. We know how much they bring to us, both on the field and off the field. Both have the leadership quality to be role models for younger boys coming into the team and we value their individual contributions as a player since joining the club.
Club Chairman Andy Hetra while announcing the team at the club’s season launching said, “to arrive at this final squad wasn’t an easy path. After a rigorous off and preseason train, trail and selection process spanning over 6 months have produced the 35-men which we consider the best team to defend the premiership.” The back to back grand final appearances (2019 & 2020) have set the foundation and has become a building block for the team to be better prepared. We know hard work pays off and there is no secret to success.
“Last year, we won the premiership with an unknown team, mostly rookies, some considered fringe players and a rookie coaching team. “We are prepared to defend the cup. We have the never say die team culture. Mr Hetra thanked and commended Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited through its subsidiary ‘Kroton’ for its continued support and naming rights sponsor since 2017 while also acknowledging Ipwenz Construction, Hela Provincial Government (HPG) and Kemele Construction for their support to the club. ‘If it wasn’t for our sponsors, we wouldn’t be where we are now. The team owes it to their sponsors and will do their best to make them proud including the people of Hela, their families, provinces or district where each of players represent’’ the Chairman added.
The 2021 playing squad: Valentin Culligan (c), Standford Talita (c), Junior Igila, Nanduka Rame, Bob Nale, Eddie Timuku, Darius Balupa, Junior Hoki, Siki Konden, Roger David, Allen Simberi, Willie Walla, Peter Pakali, Ian James, Benard Lai, Patrick Morea, Tommy Moide, Atua Joshua, Kennedy Telege, Manu Kame, Jordon Steven, Cliff Denge, Philemon Taime, Junior Bobby, Jack Alu, Kobu Piju, Lape Peape, Peter Jeffery, Alois Topai, Tony Wemin, Daniel Pai, Missack Wallen, Gori Akuni, and Ham Tina.
The team is coached by Charlie Wabo.
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