Frustrations aired over selection of AS Women's National Soccer Team
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — While the Football Federation of American Samoa (FFAS) Women's National Soccer Team is scheduled to depart this morning to compete in the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Women’s Championship in Fiji next week, the parents of several local players who were dropped from the team have voiced their disappointment with how the FFAS selected the team.
The team departs this morning for Apia, before heading out to Fiji to compete in the OFC Championship next week.
Speaking to Samoa News yesterday morning, one parent said her daughter was involved in training ever since the team started their preparations for this huge event. However, it was only this week that the team’s head coach informed her daughter that she didn't make the team roster because the first choice went to all the ladies who are attending school off island.
According to the frustrated mother, her daughter was one of the six local players who was pulled from the team roster this week and replaced by players who arrived this week from off island.
“I was so disappointed when my daughter told me this week that she is not on the team traveling to Fiji, because the coach had made the decision to pull her and other girls from the roster, to give the chance to all the ladies from off island,” the mother told Samoa News.
“What makes me so angry about this decision by FFAS and the coach is that my daughter and all the other ladies who were on the squad were part of the training for a long time. The coach had to pick up my daughter every morning at 5a.m. for training and dropped her off at 7p.m. every every evening, and there was nothing said about any ladies from off island being part of the team.”
The mother said her daughter was crying all night when she was told that she was not a part of the team to Fiji, as she spent most of her time training with the main belief that she was going to be part of the Women’s National Soccer Team to Fiji.
“Why did the FFAS select my daughter to be part of the training squad when in fact they knew already that the slots were to be given to the ladies from off island?” the woman asked.
Samoa News was able to speak to a representative from the FFAS regarding the issue.
According to Sandra Fruean, the ladies who did not make the final selection put up a good effort throughout their training. However, they were told that the final selections would be held once the players who attended school off island arrived on island, before the team departs.
According to Fruean, the final selection was conducted by a coaching staff and trainers who were part of the training squad ever since the team started training last year.
“All of our local players were notified that the final selections would be done once the ladies from off island arrive. They were also told that they have to put up their best performance during the final selections in order to be part of the team; otherwise, they have to try for next year,” Fruean told Samoa News.
She said the final selection was based on individual performance, fitness, and skills. The trials for the selected team was witnessed by the coaching staff including trainers, along with parents and families who turned up at the soccer field in Pago Pago this week.
The AS National Women's Soccer Team consists of 18 players - 8 locals and 10 from overseas.
They are set to play a friendly game against the Samoa Women’s National Team this week, before heading to Fiji for the OFC Championship, where they will play Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands during the first stage of the tournament.