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Player profile: Vaisioa Niupaku (Tonga)

Today we feature a multi-talented athlete who will form the heart of the Tonga defence, Vaisioa Niukapu.
Vaisioa Niukapu
Tonga U-20 Women’s goalkeeper Vaisioa Niukapu is a multi talented young sportswoman proudly focusing her natural sporting ability on football.
Niukapu’s first taste of football came in her final year of primary schooling in the Tongan Football Association’s (TFA) 2003 Primary Schools competition where she represented Nukualofa Primary school.
She continued her academic and football education at Tonga High School where she also participated in variety of other sports including athletics, tennis and netball. Niukapu credits these other sporting interests with having a great impact on her physical and mental toughness.
Despite all these other sporting interests, Niukapu remained most passionate about football and is determined to fashion a career in the beautiful game. She nominates popular England football star David Beckham and highly respected female international players Martha Vieira da Silva (Brazil) and Mia Hamm (USA) as her favourite footballing role models.
Niukapu first gained national representative selection as goalkeeper for the 2006 OFC U-20 World Cup Qualifiers tournament in Samoa, an event where Tonga won silver. Being multi-skilled, the following year she gained her second national cap in the OFC Women’s Championship Papua New Guinea 2007 as a defender, a position she retained in the 2007 South Pacific Games hosted by Samoa (where the Tonga also won the silver medal).
These exposures undoubted gained her much needed experience which no doubt will come in handy as she prepares for OFC U-20 World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand.
After only recently rehabilitating from a knee injury, Niukapu has passed her physical fitness test with flying colours and will be a key contributor as Tonga’s first choice goal keeper. In the 2009 TFA Major League competition Niukapu kept an admirable record of averaging less than one goal conceded per match.
Profession: Athlete
Full Name: Mele Vaisioa Niukapu
Nickname: Sioa
Date of Birth: May 8 1990, (age: 19)
Place of Birth: Ha’apai
Height: 174m
Playing Position: Goalkeeper
Current Club: Kaimai Glamour Girls
Football Years: 7 years
Favourite Soccer Star: Martha Vieira da Silva.
National Team
2007 – OFC Senior Women’s Qualifiers
2007 – South Pacific Games
2006 – OFC U-20 World Cup Qualifiers
Special Awards
2006, 2007, 2008 – TFA Scholarship
Courtesy of TFA Media

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