Sport: PNG Football aiming high

1:14 pm on 11 March 2015

High profile coaching appointments means higher expectations for Papua New Guinea Football.

Former New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert has taken charge of the PNG Under 23 squad, with a remit to win gold at the Pacific Games in July.

The women's team have set their sights on defending their title on home soil under Australian coach Gary Phillips and also have their eye on making it the Rio Olympics in 2016.

PNG Football Technical Director, Taku Niebo, says they've been lucky to recruit experienced, high profile coaches in recent years and with that comes more pressure for results.

"The Pacific Games also is the qualifier for the next stage of the Olympics for the Oceania region. Obviously they come at a cost - we are grateful to the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee, which very much assists with the finance side of it to be able, and obviously through the assistance from the national government we are able to lure the high calibre coaches like Ricki Herbert and Gary [Phillips] to be working with our national teams".

Taku Niebo says Ricki Herbert is contracted until the Pacific Games but if that goes well they are open to extending and expanding his role.

Former All Whites coach Ricki Herbert has been appointed coach of the Papua New Guinea Under 23 squad which will contest the Pacific Games in July.

Ricki Herbert Photo: PHOTOSPORT