PNGRFL and SP PNG Hunters CEO Brad Tassell has confirmed today that Wellington Albert will depart Port Moresby this Thursday at 6am to take up his 2 year NRL contract with the Penrith Panthers.
Alberts Visa was managed and processed through the PNGRFL by the SP PNG Hunters and was approved yesterday by Australian Immigration paving the way clear for Albert to travel to Sydney.
Tassell said a structure was firmly in place with the PNGRFL and the SP PNG Hunters for processing of Visas;
“We have a set policy and proceedures in place through the SP PNG Hunters and the PNGRFL for processing of Visas for players. We have worked very closely with Australian Immigration and understand thoroughly what is required depending upon the situation of our players and this comes from experience and consultation. I have read with interest various media reports on players having trouble obtaining visas, however if they contact the PNGRFL in the first instance and notify us then we can advise them on the correct procedures required and assist in that process.”
Tassell also said it was important talented players such as Wellington Albert were managed correctly:
“Wellington is a perfect example. We placed him with a reliable Player manager who advised him, his family and us through the entire process. We then advised him on what we believed was best for his career and when he secured his contract the PNGRFL then applied for his Visa to enable him to take up his contract. This process has to be managed professionally and carefully. We now have another player who is seriously being considered for an NRL contract and I have no doubt that now that we have provided the pathway, opened up the door, shown we are professional in how we are managing the game in PNG and made it easier for NRL clubs, then we will have other players being watched and earmarked for potential NRL contract. This is what the SP PNG Hunters is all about and we are already seeing the benefits to the players before a ball has been kicked of for the 2014 season.”
Tassell said the PNGRFL and the SP PNG Hunters give their 100% blessing and full support towards Wellington Alberts move;
“We believe he is a rare talent and have every confidence that his dedication, attitude and commitment will be rewarded with success at the Penrith Panthers. We and his family are very proud of him and I know the entire nation also is. He is blazing a trail for others to follow and we wish him all the best.”