MADANG , PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Hailing from the crystal clear waters of Karkar islands up in the beautiful Madang province in Papua New Guinea, the Komolong brothers Alwin (21) and Felix (19) come from a family devoted to the round ball. Madang a province known for producing some of PNG’s best footballing talents, this football obsessed province also has arguably the largest fan base in PNG for their provincial club Madang FC in the Semi Professional PNG National Soccer league. Born and raised in Papua New Guinea with mixed parentage, father of Madang, PNG and mother of Eckenforde, Germany you could say football runs in the blood. Coming from a family of 4 Alwin being the eldest and Felix being the second in the family, there is no love lost between the pair both on and off the pitch, as both brothers share the same dream as millions of other boys around the globe, professional football being the ultimate Holy Grail. After 90 mins of watching the Komolong’s take the park, it is easy to see why the duo is dubbed the next superstars of PNG Football.
Alwin a strong Holding Midfielder, blessed with both feet, a brilliant first touch and a natural eye for the back of the net, vision comes easy to him as slipping passes through to his front men Is a sort of 6th sense, a player that reads the game well beyond his years, his positioning allows him break down attacks with ease and the transition to get his team on the front foot is quick and effective, obsessed with the ball at his feet and when given space and time will make any opposition pay, an x factor in any game. Currently in his third year on a football scholarship working his craft for the Northern Kentucky University in the USA, the PNG U23 captain has missed out on a full men’s debut as his studies and football in the states has taken first priority, when asked about his brother Felix making his Senior debut early this April before him, Alwin smiled and replied “he is very lucky to get his chance so young”. Alwin has had his taste of professional football when given the chance by former PNG Men’s coach and Australian International Frank Farina by selecting him in the Fifa Blue stars team, a team made up of the brightest young footballing talents in the pacific where he travelled to Basil, Switzerland to play against professional clubs from all around Europe in a friendly tournament. “After having a taste of pro football I knew what I wanted to do with my life” Komolong said, with offers of trials in Malaysia and pathways through Australia, it’s very exciting to see where the round ball takes this proud Papua New Guinean.
Felix your typical 6’4ft German Centre Back, a no nonsense old school type of defender, anything played in the air anywhere on the park you may as well count yourself out, an eye for pinging 50 metre through balls and the calmest player to watch on and off the ball. At 19 he has recently made his Senior Men’s debut as he started and played an important role for PNG in a friendly match against Solomon Islands at the Pacific’s infamous Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara, Solomon Islands. The teenager fresh out of high school at Kings College in Auckland, New Zealand, graduating with his year 13 with the world at his feet an excited Felix is looking to make of menze on the international stage for his country. Opting for a gap year to focus on his football, the passionate young man of Karkar islands is excited to see what this year has in store. After stints in Auckland for club teams and a trial in Germany with Bundesliga outfit FC Wolfsburg in early 2014, the highly rated teenager put pen to paper for Hekari United, PNG’s most successful footballing outfit with 8 National Soccer league championships, 1 Oceania Football Confederation Club championship and 1 appearance at the Fifa World Club Cup. After a tough season finishing minor premiers / runners up in the PNG National Soccer League, and bowing out in the group stages of the 2016 Oceania Football Confederations (OFC) club championships, the teenager is excited and ready for more football action as he looks on to the Men’s OFC Nations Cup this May and the U20 Men’s World Cup qualifiers in September, nothing but excitement is felt around this young man’s future both for his country and the region as a whole.
Representing their home country PNG at U16 level up to U23’s on numerous travels around the pacific, the pair is on the verge of breaking into the senior men’s national team for the Oceania Football Confederations (OFC) 2018 Russia World Cup Qualifiers. The current crop of players for the developing nation of Papua New Guinea is arguably the most talented bunch over the years, with the tournament kicking off late May 2016 with 7 other pacific Islands participating including Power houses New Zealand and Tahiti, PNG will be looking to make their mark at pacific footballs biggest stage. It gives extra incentive to every member of the PNG team that the tournament will be held on home soil in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and you can bet that the Komolong brothers will be pushing to grab their chance in the starting eleven to impress in front of their families and friends, so keep your eyes fixed for these two livewires as PNG Football embark on the biggest task in their history. Impossible is a frame a thought not your outcome, dare to dream… after all it only takes one moment, one touch, once break, one interception, one pass, one chance to make dreams become reality. Is it our time PNG?
This is our game, the island game.