The growth of women’s football in New Caledonia was recognised with the holding of the FIFA Women’s Development Programme Workshop on League Development, hosted in Nouméa.

OFC Women’s Football Manager Emma Evans attended the workshop, which was supported by OFC Women’s Football Consultant Stephanie Spielmann in her FIFA Technical Expert capacity. Simon Toselli, FIFA Women’s Football Technical Expert, led the multi-day event.

The Fédération Calédonienne de Football now have two divisions of their national domestic senior women’s competition, as well as a U16 competition up and running.

Spielmann, who coached the Tahiti national women’s side at last year’s OFC Women’s Nations Cup, said that “the most important aspect of the workshop was to reconnect and connect with all the coaches from all the clubs.”

The FIFA League Development programme is in the second of its two years.

“For this second year, we focus on the coaching aspect (training sessions design), and we spend more time on the field observing the participants,” said Spielmann.

She says the programme is “really important.”

“It’s the opportunity to help to strengthen the relationship between the clubs and the federation for the development of women’s football in the country. It’s also the opportunity for the participants to experiment with another type of workshop with a FIFA Expert and for several days. Those workshops are tailor-made to be as close as possible to the reality of the needs.”

“We are very satisfied, and the participants were all very engaged. Another positive point is that there were many young women who were able to lead a session for the first time in their lives. Charlotte Pelletier, the FCF Women’s Football Development Officer, had the opportunity to present the Women’s Football Strategy to all the participants from all the clubs of her country. This workshop was the opportunity to highlight her hard work.”

Spielmann is excited about the outcomes of the programme, mainly the strengthening of pathways for women players in the country.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the progress of the New Caledonian women’s teams and their coaches. We are working with different countries in Oceania through the FIFA Programmes. I’m sure they will have a big impact on women’s football in our region.”

Steven Dillon, OFC Clubs and Leagues Manager, is excited at the progress being made in New Caledonia and the cooperation between OFC and FCF.

“We understand that the development of people working within such as coaches or administrators is a key factor in the growth of a club both on and off the field,” he said.

“From a League Development perspective, these educational experiences provide the support and resources necessary to take the game to the next level. It is great to see FCF continue the implementation of this programme alongside FIFA and OFC and we hope to see other Member Associations benefit from a similar level of support.”