U-20 pain driving Vanuatu

Forward Keren Coulon and midfielder Delphine Kalmet were both members of the Vanuatu U-20 women’s side who missed out on achieving a silver-medal finish at the 2015 OFC U-20 Women’s Championship last October due to goal difference.
Both players are now key members of the U-17 team vying for a semi-final berth in Rarotonga, and are eager to taste success this time around.
“It was hard when we missed getting a silver medal in Tonga because we felt we played well,” Coulon says.
“That would have been a big moment for our country too.
“Now we want to do well here at the U-17 competition and I know that none of us want to feel that disappointment again.”
For Kalmet it’s a chance to use her experience to help the younger members of the squad have something to be proud of in terms of their footballing achievements.
“We really want to get through to the semi-finals in Rarotonga and give ourselves the chance to win a medal,” Kalmet says.
“We know we were close in Tonga, and this time we feel confident that we can do it, but we must make sure we stay focussed.”
Coulon and Kalmet join Emilia Taravaki as players from the 2015 OFC U-20 Women’s Championship who were eligible and selected for the U-17 side.
Coach Joel Rarua – who led the U-20 team in Tonga as well – says all three players have been an important part of his plan for the squad.
“Having their experience has been very beneficial and helpful to the younger girls,” Rarua says.
“They have been in this environment before and know how to handle it, so that has been very helpful to us.”
Vanuatu currently sit third in Group B, tied on points with Fiji but behind on goal difference.
On Match Day 5 they face Cook Islands at the CIFA Academy in Matavera with game kicking off at 5pm.
Depending on the result of the Papua New Guinea vs Fiji game, which is being played at the same time over at Takitimu School, a win, draw or even a narrow loss could be enough to see Vanuatu through to the semi-finals.

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