SP Hunters put plans together for season 2016
The SP Hunters deserve more credit for their 2015 season performance than what they have received, says new PNG Rugby Football League CEO Bob Cutmore. Cutmore, taking up the position last month which sees him also double up in that role for the SP Hunters club, said it was a wonderful effort considering the many challenges the Hunters had to overcome.
These includes among others the SP Hunters being the team that travelled much longer distances compared to most of the 11 teams in the competition throughout the season. The Hunters finished the 2015 regular season in second spot and fell one game shy of making a historical grand final appearance. “They (SP Hunters) deserve better… they deserve a lot more credit than what they have been getting, ” Cutmore said as he announced that preparations for the 2016 was being finalised with the squad to assemble within a week for pre-season training.
He said coach Michael Marum and his coaching staff had a done wonderful job so not much would change except for some slight alterations to be announced as soon as the squad assembles in Port Moresby next week. Cutmore said the Hunters was to create a pathway for players to advance to the elite level and if the players got scouted and engaged by overseas clubs – that would be a bonus for the program as it would open up spots for other young men to step up to have a shot at making the Hunters team.
He declined to give details on whether the Hunters would be losing any of their 2015 squad, explaining that that information would be released once all necessary arrangements were finalised – if any players signed up with other Intrust Super Cup clubs, NRL or other overseas clubs. “A number of players have been approached but we will make appropriate announcements when the time is right,” Cutmore said. However, Cutmore stressed that while the SP Hunters had captivated imagination and lifted PNG Rugby League’s profile on the international level, the game at the domestic level would get improved attention under his watch.
“A large population of our rugby league members, and this includes the women, are involved in our domestic competitions and we need to focus a lot more of our attention on these players than we have done in the past.“It is not going to be a quick-fix solution and the challenges will be also be there but we will do our utmost best to address some of these issues.”Meanwhile coach Marum is set to announce his 2016 squad this week, which then assembles in Port Moresby for the November 24 pre-season start.