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National team manager’s scathing attack on coach

There is internal bickering within the Papua New Guinea women’s football team as the team manager has launched a scathing on coach Nicola Demaine.

Team manager Vonnie Kapi Natto has accused Demaine of favouritism and hateful action against the team players. The PNG women’s team won the OFC Women’s Cup of Nations held in Fiji and have made it to the World Cup qualifiers.

The team has been a notch above all other teams and has showed promise but according to the manager it was a superficial look and internally the team had been in trouble.

A few weeks after the championship, PNG Football Association announced that Demaine’s contract was not being renewed.

Action from the Tonga and PNG match at the Women's Oceania National Cup in Suva. Picture: OFC
Action from the Tonga and PNG match at the Women’s Oceania National Cup in Suva. Picture: OFC

There was no reason given by the football body to the public but a meeting was held between the coach and the association.

Demaine then broke the news to the players personally and this caused a stir within the team as some players have said they would not have any further part with the national team.

“Based on my observations travelling with the team to Singapore for warm-up games and Fiji respectively, I noticed there were two groups in the team,” Kapi Natto told the Post Courier.

“The scary part was the head coach had a favourite type of player and disliked most of them in the team. Demaine is full of anger and hates a lot of the players. They can come out and express for themselves.

“I’ll give an example. When we went to Fiji, Demaine forced the management to remove a player, Gloria Leali out of the team because she claimed the player was hopeless. I had to fight for her to stay. She deserves the right to represent her country. These are many of the hidden things that transpired in camp since March.

Nicole Demaine, the PNG women's football team coach whose contract was not renewed. Picture OFC
Nicole Demaine, the PNG women’s football team coach whose contract was not renewed. Picture: OFC

“I have seen and read so much about Demaine helping players develop. But let me remind you that everything she did for the girls, she wanted reimbursement from PNGFA. I in my capacity as team manager, I have never done that.”

Demaine denied the claims and says the reasons given in her termination letter were mostly made up and did not constitute a valid reason for not renewing her contract.

She said that nothing that has come out of PNGFA has been true, claiming that what was mentioned in her termination letter was false and nothing constituted a reason for not renewing her contract.

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