Oceania Football Confederation > News > 2014 OFC Women's Nations Cup > Kids kick around with national team

Kids kick around with national team

The side headed to the field in the afternoon for a recovery session following their disappointing 3-0 loss to New Zealand on Monday and while there helped PNGFA Just Play Project Manager Margaret Aka run a session of the programme with the local students.
Close to 170 children took part and Aka says it was a real boost to the programme and the children to have the players there.
“The children look up to these players and to have them there sharing advice and encouraging the kids to get involved in football and the Just Play Programme is invaluable,” she says.
“Some of these girls were members of the gold medal winning Pacific Games squad which is a well-regarded achievement here. I think these kids will definitely remember this day for a long time.”
For the players it was a good opportunity to relax after having their dreams of attending the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 crushed by the Football Ferns the previous day.
Captain Deslyn Siniu says it was good, especially for some of the younger squad members, to take a break from the intensity of the competition and watch the kids enjoying the game.
Something Papua New Guinea coach Gary Phillips agrees with.
“The girls were absolutely shattered after playing New Zealand so it’s good to give them a break and to get them interacting with the local kids here in Rabaul, where we’ve been staying this week.
“If having them here can encourage more kids to get involved in football too, even better.”
Several members of the squad are yet to take to the field in Kokopo and to run around with the kids was a good way to keep their muscles loose ahead of the final day of action.
A series of small-sided games were closed out with a large-scale match with all the children in with a chance to get involved.
Members of the Papua New Guinea team then shared their experiences and some words of encouragement with the youngsters, before gifting them with an OFC match ball so they can keep developing their passion for football.
Papua New Guinea will play Cook Islands in their last game of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup 2014, with the match kicking off at 2pm to close the tournament.

Related posts