Coach Michael Marum yesterday confirmed that the players signed their contracts on Sunday, but was not able to divulge the content of how much each player would be earning in this professional competition.
“All I can say is that the players will be well looked after in terms of their welfare and yes it will be a range above what they get in the Digicel Cup competition,” Marum said. Marum said those details including the naming of the PNG franchise and naming rights sponsor will be announced next week by the management.
In terms of their preparation so far, Marum said from offset they were already four weeks behind in the off-season training, due to the return from the World Cup for a majority of the players.
“But the players are responding well, some more than others as it is quite a new scenario for most of them who normally take a break at this time of the year,” he said.
“We have pushed them and it has done some good to bring out some of the leadership qualities in the players,” Marum said.
Everything we are doing now is just basic drills, bettering techniques in the gym, footwork and agility type of training, he added.
Marum said the players end this period of their training with a test on Wednesday before they go on a break for Christmas and the New Year, and return on January 3.
“We may have Mal (Meninga) or Adrian (Lam) come up to see the players as well before the break,” he added. Marum said when they return the players will be tested again to see if they have been maintaining their fitness levels, as the tempo of the training programme will lift with defensive, game patterns and more team work training to prepare for the trial matches in February.
He further said all the players have the spirit to be part of something new and it is exciting to see the enthusiasm growing.