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Lifou’s Lolo loving life in Paris

The side is situated in the southwestern area of Paris and Lolo is pleased to have the opportunity to exhibit the full range of her skills there.
Issy-les-Moulineaux play in the second tier of the French national league but Lolo aims to go one higher and sees no reason why that goal cannot be achieved.
“They are an ambitious club and I hope to play for them in division one,” she says.
The 21-year-old hails from Lifou, an island just off New Caledonia, but moved to France as a child and it was in her adopted nation that Lolo’s love of football first emerged.
“I started playing at the age of 14 in France,” she says. “I had different clubs from the youth to senior categories. But I first made it into a high level with FCF Condéen who played in the second division.”
Her ability and New Caledonian roots were soon taken note of by footballing figures in the country of her birth and she was invited to join the national team for its campaign at the 2003 Pacific Games in Samoa.
But that experience was one to forget for Les Cagous as Lolo and co finished bottom of Group B after failing to pick up a point.
It was a different story at last year’s Pacific Games though, Lolo playing a key role as New Caledonia went through the group stages undefeated and made it all the way to the final thanks to a thrilling 3-2 win over Tonga in the semi-finals.
The hosts were denied the gold medal after a last-minute penalty gave Papua New Guinea a 2-1 win in the final but Lolo says the tournament was the highlight of her career so far and has provided memories she will never forget.
“It was great to have the chance to participate in such an adventure and it was an amazing experience,” she says.
“We got to meet different sports men and women from all over Oceania and that was very rewarding. Within the squad, a strong link was created between all the players. We learned to live together and built a team with lots of solidarity. It was like a family and that was our strength.”
Despite the side failing in their goal of winning gold, Lolo feels their performances in front of home fans at the Games still brought about many positive outcomes.
“It was very satisfying to be able to promote women’s football in my country. The supporters were behind us from the first game and it was a great feeling. Even in France, New Caledonian supporters were able to watch the games on TV,” she says.
“Our results show the development of women’s football in New Caledonia is going the right way.”
For more on New Caledonia football go to www.fedcalfoot.com


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