U17s eye qualifer

Normal, Sports

The National, Tuesday January 5th, 2016


A 20-MEMBER Papua New Guinea Under-17 women’s soccer team arrive in Port Moresby tomorrow to train for five days before leaving for the Oceania Football Confederation’s 2016 World Cup Qualifier in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, from January 14-24. The team have been training since last year and are made up mostly of the U15 squad that competed at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China.

PNG Football Association  women’s development officer and coaching mentor Frederica Siwin Sakette said the team was aiming to put their best foot forward in the regional qualifier to get a step closer to making the tournament (U17 World Cup), in Jordan from September 30 to October 21.

“The girls will be relying on the services of captain Margaret Joseph and Belinda Giada, who have experience playing at the highest level with the senior team,” Siwin said.

“Giada was a member of the PNG women’s team that recently defended their title for the fourth time and won gold, beating New Caledonia at July’s Pacific Games in Port Moresby.”

She said the team had the advantage of having played together previously at a major world tournament as U15s two years ago.

“Most of the girls know each other’s games and are familiar with playing at a big tournament so the combinations are there.

“The newer members in the squad have settled in well into training and things look good.”

There are nine countries taking part in the championship, with the top two from each pool advancing to the semi-finals.

Pool A has Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and defending champions New Zealand, while 

Pool B is made up of Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and PNG.

Squad: Faith Kasiray, Veronica Vanua, Alison Paulias, Belinda Giada, Natasha Sagem, Loretta Yagum, Selina Unamba, Serah Tamgol, Margaret Joseph, Anila Robert, Samantha Matan, Anna Sos, Mellissa Jofari, Anna Malara, Dorothy Wamilat, Robertlyn Kig, Isabella Natera, Mercedes Hapoto, Brigit Paime, Eswin Mano Matlaun. Management team: Margaret Aka (coach), Cathy Wamapiri (a/coach), Margaret Taligatus (manageress), Stanley Pokasap (physio).