Four Oceania female coaches have secured a scholarship as part of the FIFA Coach Education Scholarship programme, designed to increase the number of female coaches in football.

New Zealand trio Tessa Nicol, Alana Gunn, Annalie Longo and Papua New Guinea’s Margaret Aka were among the 47 female coaches accepted from across 27 Member Associations.

To apply to the FIFA Coach Education Scholarship programme, candidates must hold a ‘C’ coaching licence or higher and be actively coaching a team in a competition.

The overall project is one of FIFA’s eight women’s development programmes, seeking to offer talented female coaches and/or players financial support to further their coaching education along with career development mentoring and networking opportunities.

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Educate and inspire female players and coaches to ensure long careers
  • Create easier pathways for players to gain qualifications and increase their opportunities to obtain employment in coaching
  • Increase the number of qualified female coaches working in the game

OFC Women’s Football Manager Emma Evans said providing career opportunities for women in football is a key commitment in both the OFC and FIFA Women’s Football Strategy.

“It’s fantastic to see four female coaches from the Oceania region selected onto this programme,” Evans said.

“The extra support for these coaches ensures there are no financial barriers to attend courses, especially when female coaches in the Pacific are often in unpaid positions, even at the highest level.

“The added mentorship and network support formed through this programme will have a huge impact on the development of these coaches.

“I hope they will be inspired by their peers and mentors to take their coaching to the next level, and forge a career path in coaching either in the Pacific or abroad.”

The application process for Coach Education Scholarships remain open until June 30, 2022 for the first application window and October 31, 2022 for the second application window.