MELBOURNE Storm centre Justin Olam has challenged Digicel Cup franchises to establish development pathways for players into the country’s premier rugby league competition.
The former Lae Tiger addressed the coaches of all 12 Digicel Cup franchises from Melbourne last week.
Olam gave credit to the coaches for instilling a strong work ethic among semi-professional players.
However, he said the development of players needed improvement.
“I want to challenge our Digicel Cup coaches to go out in the villages and schools,” he said.
“Recruit, groom and develop talents from there. That’s where the future and foundation of PNG rugby league lies.
“I think we still don’t have a proper junior system. “If only we can have that then it’ll be good in terms of developing the standards of the game.
“But at this stage, if our coaches can take the initiative and identify potential talents in the villages then it will have an impact on our national competition.”
Olam also talked about grooming local players into better citizens at the Digicel Cup level.
“Another thing that our franchises and coaches need to instill in our players is respect,” he said.
“We have to strongly emphasise to the players to be role models.
“Educate them to respect other people, respect women, respect themselves and be a good example to the next generation and future rugby league players.
“These are the things that we need to impart to our players because I realised that we lack those when I came here to the NRL.”
read more>> PNG Digicel Cup News
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