The Cook Islands national team is preparing for the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) U20 Women’s Championship this October with an emphasis on confidence, discipline and respect for their opposition.
Coach Jimmy Katoa says the team will go into the championship in New Zealand “approaching every game with a positive attitude.”
Katoa’s task has not been easy especially when he has to consistently monitor members of his squad in the outer islands and also in New Zealand.
However, he says majority of the team members are attending their training sessions at the academy, where Katoa works as the Cook Islands Football Association’s Development Officer.
Last month he took a one hour plane ride to Aitutaki to check on his players and given the circumstances of isolation, Katoa says his players have been truly dedicated to their training.
“It is not easy to have that discipline when you are on your own, away from the coach, but our girls in Aitutaki have been very disciplined and are giving their best in whatever training programme they are provided with,” says Katoa.
“We have a couple of our girls training in Auckland and of course discipline is so crucial for them too, that is helping them all progress at this point.”
Katoa, who is assisted by Michelle Paiti, will fly into Auckland with his team early next month to meet up with the rest of the Cook Islands National U20 Women’s Football team members. The team will be managed by John Taripo.
The OFC U-20 Women’s Championship 2009 kicks off at the North Harbour Stadium from 5-9 October.
The championship is also the qualifying round for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany next year.