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Tailored approach working wonders for female keepers in Fiji

The success of workshops tailored specifically to females interested in becoming goalkeeping coaches is reaping rewards in Fiji and filtering through to the national women’s team.   

Led by Fiji Football Association Goalkeeping Development Officer Lice Waqailiti, the latest Introduction to Goalkeeping Coaching online course ran for two days and saw 17 participants from Fiji’s north, south and west divisions interact over Zoom.  

The course consisted of online tasks in relation to the responsibilities of a goalkeeping coach and looked at different training methods.   

Waqailiti said it was positive to see a mixture of youth and senior women, most of whom were learning about goalkeeper coaching for the first time.  

“Because I didn’t involve any males, the women were able to confidently come out of their shells,” Waqailiti said.  

“I wanted to make sure the learning environment was comfortable by assuring them that no questions were wrong. I enjoyed being flooded with questions.”  

Waqailiti has extensive playing experience herself and was a member of Fiji’s national team that played in the OFC Women’s Nations Cup in 2010.  

While she’s developing coaches, Waqailiti also continues to run programmes and academies for players at grassroots, youth and senior levels in Fiji. 

Most recently her focus has been on the Fijian national women’s team.  

“At our national women’s training camp last month I had five keepers and it’s been tough to select the best,” Waqailiti said.  

“Three of them are experienced and I brought in another two who I saw had potential. I’ve mentored them online the past six months and they’ve been committed.  

“I have achieved getting more women in the specialised position of goalkeeper which was rare to see when I first started.  

“It’s a great feeling for me to see where we are now and it has kept me busy.”  

On November 21 Fiji will host another 11-day training camp before Waqailiti makes her final selections for camp next year, leading up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers. 

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