The national women’s youth soccer team will be touring Germany from next week and national coach Jacqueline Shipanga is pleased with the development and progress being made in women’s football.
Shipanga said the 18 players selected from the NFA Women Elite players programme will be in Germany’s Westphalia region for two weeks on a training camp aimed at exposing them to international football at an early age.
“We don’t want a situation where our girls only play international football for the first time when they face Ghana and the likes in CAF or FIFA competitions, but it has to start as early as possible to ensure that they get that experience and do not freeze when it gets down to serious business,” she said.
The coach added that the tour would also result in more players for the selectors to consider for the national team, since this has been a problem in the past with players often dropping out after completing school or graduating.
“It is very important that we increase the pool of players that we select from. We have various youth teams and the senior team and as players graduate in these age groups, we need to replace them with equally good and capable players,” explained Shipanga.
The training camp will start on Sunday, June 17 and will end on July 2; also included in the travelling team are coaches Bertus Bock and Gerald Guther.
“It is also worth noting that we have two youth coaches in this team. It is about exposing them to an international culture and to help them grow as coaches as well. They are involved in youth football and we need to enhance their skills,” she said.
The training camp has been made possible thanks to a bilateral agreement between Westphalia and the Namibian Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“It has been a boy-child thing for years now, with the Four-Nations tournament that our Under 17 boys played in, but now it has grown to include the girl-child and for that we are thankful to the government for availing such platforms for the development of sport in the country. Last year we had about 80 per cent of the players in the training camp squad as part of the National Under 20 team; this year we have about 95 per cent of them being Under 17 players and it is very crucial for us,” Shipanga concluded.
Others in the team will be Stacey Naris, who will be doing administration attachment as well as referees Agnes Kauzuu and Vistorine Shangula who will also be on internship during that period. The team will be managed by Natasha Cloete.
The touring squad of 18 players is as follows:
Melanie Hikuam, Cadisha Kazimbu, Lovisa Mulunga, Eddelissingh Naris, Vitapamwe Kamahene, Stacey Gille, Memory Ngonda, Annouscka Kordom, Esme Eises, Abrille Beukes, Anuscka Meyer, Mellisa Matheus, Lena Noreses, Carmel Don, Alicia Gertze, Juliana Blou, Burnie Dennis and Millicent Hikuam.
The NFA Women’s Super League meanwhile continues on Saturday, June 16 with two matches scheduled for the Sam Nujoma Stadium. Okahandja Beauties will take on Unam Bokkies at 10h30, while Challengers will face 21 Brigade United at 12h10.
The SPAR/NFA Galz and Goals Youth Leagues continues on Friday with action from Round Two of the Under 13 and Under 15 leagues.
On Friday at the NFA Technical Centre, the Under 13 league will start at 14h00 and continue through to 16h00.
The Under 15 League matches will be played on Saturday at the El Dorado Secondary School. Action will get underway at 08h00 and will continue through to 11h30.