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Patel: Women’s football here to stay

  Women’s football is making a huge impact in the country and it all starts from youth development. For the first time, the Vodafone Fijian Under-16 women’s football team will
01 Aug 2017 11:00
Patel: Women’s football here to stay
U17 national women's soccer team mates Adi Lusiana Lagilevu shields the ball from Kelera Radinicalia while training at the FFA ground at Vatuwaqa on Saturday July 30, 2017. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga

 

Women’s football is making a huge impact in the country and it all starts from youth development.

For the first time, the Vodafone Fijian Under-16 women’s football team will be competing in the 2017 Oceania Football Confederation U16 Women’s Championship in Samoa.

Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel said the days of concentrating and developing on the men’s teams has come and gone as they are focusing more on the women.

“We’ve made a decision that development in football will be in all gender groups, it is not only male it will be females too,” Patel said.

“That is the whole reason we decided that if we wanted to develop women football, we have to start from a young age. If you saw the recent tour of the under-19 girls in New Zealand, they came out as silver medal winners and it is a great achievement.

“That is something that we’ve invested in, not only the players but also the coaches as well making sure we have qualified coaches taking these teams.

In his address to the U16 team, Patel reminded the players the importance of representing their country and at the same to enjoy their game.

Whether they come out as winners or not in Samoa, Patel says, this is a pathway for them to achieving their dream of becoming professional football players.

“It is not an individual representation but representing the country and for all Fijians to go and prove that you are no run over.

“If you don’t achieve what you have set out to do, do not be discouraged, this is a pathway to becoming a professional football player.

The side leave for Samoa today.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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