CONTRACTS for two Papua New Guinea Kumuls, Jessie Joe and Michael Mark, to play with the CRGT Nothern Pride have been cancelled due to visas and sponsorship problems.
The duo were spotted last year in the inaugural PNG Origin by Northern Pride’s chief executive officer Denis Keefe and commercial manager Brad Tassell who travelled as guests that weekend to watch the historical match.
Northern Pride is one of the teams taking part in the 2008 Wizard Cup State League in Queensland and the signing of Joe and Mark last year was highly recommended by Keefe and Tassell.
But unfortunately the two internationals’ dreams were shattered yesterday when PNGRFL CEO Jeff Wade broke the news that both men were not going as planned.
In an email to Wade yesterday Northern Pride RL club head coach Andrew Duncan said, “Hi Jeff I sent to the boys message regarding them not being able at this stage to join the Northern Pride, I cannot push enough however that we will be actively seeking ways of trying to get the boys over for next season if not before.
“I personally am very keen to get these boys over and think they could offer us plenty and I would like to keep contacts open with both the boys and yourself throughout the season.”
“Thanks for all your help in trying to get the boys over.”
In an earlier email dated Friday January 11 Kumul five-eighth Jessie Joe asked Duncan if himself and Michael Mark will still be able to play with Northern Pride.
“To date we have no indications to when we will be travelling down there and we need to have some ideas of the time and date.
“We will be glad if you can do that for us and advise through my dad’s email,” Joe said.
In reply Duncan said that the reason he and Mark were not able to travel to Queensland was because of problems in obtaining their visas and sponsorships.
“We are unable to gain visas for you guys, we have been trying all ways to get you visas and have applied three times but on all three occasions they have not been issued.
“We have also approached eight PNG companies and they were not able to help, however we would like to stay in touch with you guys in the hope that something may arise if not later this year but also next year.
“We apologise but we have tried all we can and will continue to do so,” Duncan said.