Women’s squad prepare for qualifiers

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BY ROMULUS HUTA

Laydah Samani (Jersey No. 11) is one of the strikers drafted into the women’s national training squad. Laydah is one of the regulars in the national women’s soccer side.

THE management of the Solomon Islands national women’s soccer side is putting its acts together for the upcoming preliminary qualifiers for the OFC Women’s Nations Cup this year.

The preliminary qualifiers for the OFC Women’s Nations Cup will be held in Fiji from August 25 to 31.

Solomon Islands, hosts Fiji, American Samoa and Vanuatu will compete to progress from the qualifiers due to be hosted at Churchill Park in Lautoka for the main draw of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup.

The 11th edition of Oceania’s premier women’s competition had been fixed to run in Noumea, New Caledonia from November 18 to December 1.

As part of preparation for the qualifiers, a 30-woman training squad was called in last week by appointed head coach Diane Justus.

The squad comprised mostly familiar faces and were picked during the women’s pre-season competition held in Honiara recently.

“The National Women’s training squad has kicked off their preparation for preliminary qualifier for a spot in in the OFC Women’s Nations Cup Tournament.

“A 30 member squad has been named from the preseason competition held recently and are now having 2 seasons a week,” a statement from the women’s football department at SIFF said.

The qualifying competition is important for Solomon Islands where a top place finish will guarantee a spot in Group B of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup alongside defending champion New Zealand, Cook Islands and Tonga.

In Pool are New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tahiti.

The winner of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup earns double advantage for the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, respectively.

New Zealand are five-time OFC Nations Cup champions (1983, 1991, 2007, 2010 and 2014) in the tournament that dates back to 1983.

See the national women’s squad for the qualifiers.

Goalkeepers:

Magaret Kofelo (Solomon Warriors), Sylvester Maenu (Koloale A), Kori Sogabule (KOSSA) and Diana Saeni (Solomon Warriors)

Defenders:

Kalinsa Hailifu Fiua (Koloale A), Philistus Wale (Koloale B), Rose Kakabi Oge (WanSOL), Edith nari (Marist), Janise Onika (Koloale A), Cathy Aihunu (Koloale A), Rose Fawai Sambiru (Koloale A). Lisa Solo (Koloale A)

Midfielders:

Wendy Basil (Marist), Delmay Waiha (KOSSA), Muriel Gua (Lunga School), Joyce Kapui (Marist), Serah Ragomo (Solomon Warriors), Alisha Eddie Donga (Solomon Warriors), Kobira Gulua (Solomon Warriors), Vivian Melissa Saru (Marist), Merina Philip Joe (Koloale A), Joy Timo (Koloale A), Agnes Noisi (Koloale A), Daphney Puetoro (Koloale A)

Forwards:

Laydah Samani (Solomon Warriors), Jamina David (WanSOL), Rose Arata (Marist), Crystal Bwakolo (Koloale A), Imelda Tehekeni (Marist) and Ileen Moffat Pegi (Koloale A).

Management:

Diane Justus (Head Coach), Prudence Fula (Asst. Coach), Angelline Vave (Team Manager) and Charlie Panakera (Head of Delegation).

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