Vodafone national women’s coach Marika Rodu
As you read this column, we would be exactly 24 days away from our first match against Vanuatu. The tournament will be held in Fiji with Churchill Park playing the host. The OFC Senior Women Nation Cup Qualifying stage will see 4 unranked member nation take it to the wire in a 6 match bout beginning on the 24th of August 2018 to 30th August 2018.
A quick preview into my team’s preparation, a team of 20 talented girls have been in camp since 04th of June 2018 supported with very supportive senior female officials. The team has an average age of 19years. A chunk of my squad were returning players from the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu late last year. The girls have presented themselves very well in all our planned sessions with the ultimate objective of growth on a daily basis.
The team culture has been set, and discipline is in the fore front. Discipline is a word that is often used in many coaches prep talk but it is an action or behavior that is unsystematically trained. As we run through our daily sessions we train discipline to the highest level. The girls are put through conditioned sessions to influence their technical, physical, tactical and psychological behavior and actions. They a drilled and guided to respond with a discipline attitude, discipline level of concentration, discipline level of awareness, discipline level of decision making, discipline level of anticipation, discipline level of performance and most of all the discipline to repeat these behaviors and actions whenever they are on the pitch.
The team and I are looking forward to our 1st match against the VAN2017 gold medalist Vanuatu, and with time on our side were are directing our focus towards this much anticipated match. We are well aware of the threat our opponent will pose in this match. Amongst their pool of strength is speed, and we are working smartly to counter that with timely anticipation, good team shape and to be organized at all times and off course all these require the highest level of discipline. To develop our game speed, the team have been playing the SUVA U16/U19 Boys team on a weekly basis while the result of the matches is not of significance but surely these games are serving its purpose. The girls have been conditioned to anticipate the movement of the ball and quickness of its opponents and to be more active rather than reactive.
The girls and I pray for the publics support in Lautoka. Your presence and vocal support will certainly motivate the girls when they jump onto the pitch, come in numbers with your wigs, flags and vuvuzelas’ and support the girls as they try to make it to the top 8 position in the Oceania region, with these few words, I will live you for now and will be back with more interesting updates next week.