Fiso excelling as leader

A member of the bronze-medal winning Samoa side at the 2015 OFC U-20 Women’s Championship in Tonga, Fiso says she is using that experience to guide her U-17 team in Rarotonga.
“I really like being captain, this is my first time captaining a side at this level, but I enjoy helping the girls by guiding them on and off the field,” Fiso says.
“I am still learning and I think I can improve the way we prepare for games.
“If we can warm up better and work better the day before games it will help us to do well.”
The 16-year-old midfielder says she is basing her leadership style on that of Matalena Daniells, who captained the Samoa U-20 side last year.
“I picked up on how Matalena was speaking to the team and how she addressed the way we were playing,” Fiso says.
“She was very good in the way she was talking to others, never yelling and just keeping calm.
“It’s much easier now that I have played U-20, back during that tournament in Tonga it was my first experience and all strange to me.
“But now it is nice and easy and I don’t feel as stressed before a game.”
Samoa U-17 coach Nadia Malifa says deciding who would captain the side was always going to be an important decision, given it is the first time the country have competed in the competition.
She adds that Fiso became the obvious choice through the training camps in the lead-up to the tournament.
“Shalom has the potential to be a very good leader. She communicates well during the game and has a calm personality,” Malifa says.
“She sets a really good example for our players. She performed really well at U-20 level and is ready to lead a team on and off the field.
“But I want to see her communicate even more for the upcoming games and help make sure the team is how she wants it to be.
“She is very good when she talks to the girls, encouraging them and speaking about how they played. She brings the team together.
“We have an inexperienced team and for most of them it’s their first time with a national team, so it’s not easy.
“I have known her for quite a while and seen some real improvement in her over that time. She trains with senior teams as well and has done really well.”
Samoa faced a difficult task to open their U-17 campaign on Match Day 1, going down 11-0 to defending champions New Zealand.
They take on Tonga today on the second day of Group A play, with the match kicking off at 5.00pm local time.
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