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Girls Centre of Excellence starts

Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) has started an Under 17 National Centre of Excellence for girls in Port Vila and this is where the 21 girls came together to train. “The Centre has a few objectives” said the Centre of Excellence’s head coach Tom McDonald.
“Its main objective is to prepare players to represent Vanuatu at the Under 17 World Cup Qualifiers in 2014, but it’s also to provide the more talented players a pathway and opportunity to be noticed by other organisations. If we could develop a player well enough to play for a university team in America, New Zealand or Australia that would be fantastic for Women’s Football in Vanuatu”.
The Centre of Excellence has 25 player spots. Every Saturday 16 of these players will be selected to play for the National Academy team who are looking to join the Senior Women’s Port Vila competition. “
In September this year the Centre will send 17 or 18 players on a tour to Avalon, Sydney, Australia to spread the word that women’s football is alive in Vanuatu and to gain valuable overseas experience. However, the Centre’s coaching staff doesn’t believe in providing handouts for its players and is insisting that the players work hard to fundraise money for this tour.
“We are educating players not only about football, but also on how to live their lives. Therefore, the players must learn that if they want something, they must work hard for it” stated Rorona Kalsakau VFF’s Women’s Football Development officer and an assistant coach at the Centre. “
What’s most important to the VFF according to the coaching staff is that the Centre is sustainable and here for the long term. “This Centre must continue to run even after the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers and that will be a huge challenge for us” declared Head Coach, Tom McDonald. “But for the moment we are focused on representing Vanuatu to the best of our abilities”.

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