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Old 23-09-2005, 12:04 PM
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PNGeans in Fiji celebrate Independence Day with soccer and sun

by Adam Vai Delaney

Papua New Guineas living in Fiji have been closely monitoring the national pride celebrations in PNG through the internet and have joined in the celebrations at the week-end.

On Saturday, a small group organized a picnic at Pacific Harbour about 30 minutes drive from Suva, capital of Fiji. Meanwhile, Adam Vai Delaney and Theo Yasause based at the Forum Secretariat played in the annual ***** Cup tournament for their Hasbeens soccer club against a spirited young Outrigger Soccer club.

The competition is a traditional rivalry between Hasbeens Suva, made up of former Fiji representatives and Suva based club reps, and a mix of expatriates residing here.

On Saturday, Delaney’s 20 meter shot into the goal mouth was enough to put the Hasbeens, playing with an average age of 40, in a winning margin of 4-2.

On Sunday Outrigger boys, made up of several Sigatoka soccer representatives with an average age about 21, won 1-0.

On differentials, Hasbeens now hold the Cup until next year. Delaney was a former skipper with the Port Moresby Int High School soccer team back in the late 1980s.

“It’s a great day to celebrate PNG’s independence in the sun in Suva. Hasbeens is made up of enthusiastic guys ranging from 33 to 76, yet we can go out and play a hard, solid game under pressure. We regularly play on Tuesdays and Fridays in a round robin type competition that is just for fun, and not a tournament but the ***** wee-end games are like our very own state of origin. We show the young legs, that some of us still have it !” said Delaney.

Other PNGeans playing for Hasbeens include Dr Chalapan Kaluwin, Monave Amani and Sidney Suma.

“We have a great team playing with local Fijians and Fiji Indians, and residing expatriates including Solomon Islanders such as George Beck who works with the Forum. Congrats to the Events Team in PNG for a job well done to mark 30 years of independence!!”


Picture taken during the Independence celebration here at the Sir John Guise STadium.
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