The Samoa Pacific Games is nearing and the intensity has picked up at CIFA for the national women’s squad. The team has been preparing for the tournament since earlier this year and have achieved a lot since then. However, with just under a month to go they still have a lot of work cut out for them.

The team’s head coach, Judith Kuipers says they have been training hard in the fitness section and now her focus has moved to a tactical approach. “I know the many of the players are used to a certain style of play from their club games however to achieve our goal I have been preparing them to play a more tactical game.”

“My training sessions and games have been aimed at getting the team play a build up from the back style of play and maintaining possession of the ball for most of the match. By doing this we can hope to control the game and the ball better to hopefully win.” Explained Kuipers.

The Cook Islands Women’s have found themselves in a difficult pool having to go up against some of the best teams in the pacific such as Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. However, Kuipers remains hopeful and says they will still fight for a spot in the semi-finals and finals at the Pacific games. “Papua New Guinea will definitely be a challenge, nevertheless we will try to do our best to place as one of the top two teams in the pools. It will be a nice challenge for us but if everything goes to plan we should do well.”

Kuipers added that to help better prepare her team she will be observing other games as well and making game plans and tactical plays that could help the team beat their opponents. “The women’s this year are younger compared to the last team that went to the Pacific Games and so it may be a challenge for us when it comes to experience and how to deal with the pressure from playing at a high level of football. So, I will need to be on my toes as well during the matches to help guide the team.”

The Cook Islands National Women’s team won a Bronze Medal in the last Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea. The team will play a warm up game against a boys U15 team on Saturday 15th June at 2:30pm.