Papua Football Academy expands talent search to boost Papuan soccer

Rully Nere when giving instructions to the participants of the Papua Football Academy talent search selection - Jubi / Sudjarwo Husain

Jayapura, Jubi – Rully Nere, a renowned soccer icon from Papua, expressed optimism about the positive impact of the Papua Football Academy (PFA) based at Mimika Sport Complex in Mimika Regency, Central Papua Province. According to him, the soccer academy signifies a fresh ray of hope for Papuan soccer.

The former gold medalist in soccer at the 1987 Southeast Asian Games highlighted that the PFA has enhanced opportunities for young Papuan players to engage in soccer training. He mentioned that the talent search program has expanded its reach to seven regions this year, a significant increase from the previous year’s coverage of only three regions.

According to Nere, Papuan individuals possess immense potential in terms of soccer talent. “The opportunity to be part of the Papua Football Academy offers a new and improved prospect for both Papuan and Indonesian soccer,” he emphasized.

He expressed his positive views on the PFA Talent Search 2023, stating that it is an extremely beneficial initiative. He observed the enthusiastic response from children in Jayapura during the selection process.

Nere further mentioned that this enthusiasm among the children was largely driven by the encouraging news they had heard about the PFA, which has been operating in Papua for the past year.

Alongside Rully Nere, two renowned Persipura FC figures Chris Yarangga and Ricardo Salampessy also witnessed the PFA Talent Search 2023 selection process in Jayapura.

Following the successful completion of the selection process in Timika, which served as the inaugural location for PFA Talent Search 2023, the Academy under PT Freeport Indonesia extended its search for football talents in Nabire and Jayapura.

In its second year, PFA Talent Search was conducted in seven locations, namely Timika, Jayapura, Nabire, Merauke, Waropen, Serui, and Biak Numfor.

The simultaneous PFA Talent Search events in Nabire and Jayapura occurred from May 19 to 21, 2023. Wolfgang Pikal, the Director of PFA, led the Talent Search team in Jayapura, while the head coach of PFA, Ardiles Rumbiak, oversaw the selection process in Nabire. The Mandala Stadium in Jayapura served as the venue for the Jayapura selection, while the Sapta Marga Nabire Kodim Field hosted the Nabire selection.

Wolfgang Pikal expressed that Jayapura remains a central hub for the development of youth football in Papua. He noted that this year’s PFA Talent Search in Jayapura received a more positive response, with 224 participants compared to 137 children in the previous year’s selection.

He extended his gratitude to the Provincial Association and the local committee in Jayapura for their assistance. “Their valuable support ensures the smooth execution of the PFA Talent Search,” he said.

In total, the participants in the PFA Talent Search 2023 reached 577 children, comprising 173 in Timika, 180 in Nabire, and 224 in Jayapura. (*)

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