THE sleepless nights are finally over for young rugby league player Wellington Albert when yesterday he received the clearance to fly to Sydney tomorrow morning.
The Mendi lad had agreed to a two-year National Rugby League contract with Penrith Panthers starting this year but the only barrier yet to be cleared was an Australian visa to join his new club.
That was finally granted to the 20 year-old on Monday and so was an airline ticket from the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League chief executive officer Brad Tassell to board tomorrow’s early bird flight to Australia.
Albert has also been added to coach Ivan Cleary’s squad for the Auckland Nines next month.
The National visited the strapping 105kg winger/backrower yesterday at his brother Kingston’s home to find him with the father.
The father, Albert Yaro, a councilor for the upper Mendi Local Level Government was overwhelmed with his son’s achievements and thanked everyone involved.
“Let me take this opportunity on behalf of my tribesman, my clansmen, the people of upper Mendi, the coaches, trainers and everyone who made it possible for him to come this far,” Yaro said.
“I didn’t think he would grow up to be like this. He was always slack and not very active. Sometimes I had to pour water on him to wake him up because that was what my father used to do to me.
“It’s a surprise that he came this far and for that I thank his coaches and trainers because they did the hard job of nurturing him.”
“We are very happy for him. And I want him to be an example to other youths like him to leave drugs, alcohol and women and strive hard to be successful.”
The 191cm Albert, a former Lae Tigers utility said he was excited about his Penrith engagement.
Albert’s contract stipulates that he will play with the Holden Cup team this year but is guaranteed a spot in Penrith’s 25-member top grade squad next year.
But he could find himself rubbing shoulders earlier with some top grade players including fellow Papua New Guinean James Segeyaro at the Auckland Nines.
“I am restless. I couldn’t sleep. Sometimes I stay up till daybreak because I’m so excited,” Albert said.
The 20-year-old body’s language was written with exciting tones raring to go.
But before he leaves he will drop into Bomana to visit the Hunters camp at Bomana and thank the players and the coaching staff for allowing him to train with them to keep fit over the last month.
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36