Western Pride welcome PNG to Ipswich
FOOTBALL fans are in for a treat tonight when Western Pride tackle the Papua New Guinea national team at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
The friendly game, organised by Pride coach Karl Dodd and PNG coach Ricki Herbert, will provide a valuable warm-up for the PNG side preparing for the Pacific and Olympic Games qualifiers next month.
Dodd hopes the exposure of international football accelerates his young team's progress.
"These type of games are very important for the development of players at the Pride,'' Dodd said.
"Playing games against international teams allows our players an experience they wouldn't normally get, and an understanding of what it takes to play at international level.''
Herbert coached Dodd at the Wellington Phoenix from 2007-09.
He's also a former head coach of the New Zealand national team, who represented his country at the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
First-year Pride coach Dodd is keen to catch up with his former mentor.
"As a young coach, you reflect on all the coaches you have had in your career and I was very fortunate to have a coach of Ricki's calibre,'' Dodd said.
Entry is free to tonight's game, which kicks off at 7.30pm.
The Briggs Road Sporting Complex is at Flinders View.