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Aug 20, 2013

Female Football Team heads to UNCAF tournament

Volleyball is not the only team sport that Belizean women are taking to international tournaments. The National Under Twenty Female Football team departed the country earlier today for Honduras to play in a CONCACAF series. Duane Moody headed to the airport and spoke to members of the team about their expected performance.

 

The national U-twenty female footballers gathered at the P.G.I.A. to board a Taca flight en route to Comayagua, Honduras to compete in the UNCAF tournament which is a qualifying game for the CONCACAF eliminations slated for January 2014. The team is being led by Women’s Director of the F.F.B., Gina Zabaneh.

 

Gina Zabaneh, Women’s Director, F.F.B.

Gina Zabaneh

“We are anticipating at least some draws…we hope wins, but we’ll do our best out there because we are facing the giants out there again. The first time Belize is going up in a U-twenty team. We understand Guatemala is out there touring. So all these things put our statistics very high. But we are aiming for the stars; we are hoping to come back with some better results that before.”

 

The goal is to place first or second in the tournament. As it is, the Central American countries have been split into two groups and the first place teams from each group automatically advances to the CONCACAF U-20 elimination. The second place teams will play on the seventeenth of September for second and third place…where the winner will also advance. But is the team ready?

 

Beatrice Alfaro

Beatrice Alfaro, Team Captain

“It’s a great experience but it comes with a lot of responsibility. I’ll just talk to my players, and ensure that I listen to them and what are their needs and if I can fix I’ll try my best to do so. I’m a defensive player and I’ve played from since I was eight years old…that’s a long time.”

 

Duane Moody

“Anticipations for the game?”

 

Beatrice Alfaro

“Super excited and hope for the best.”

 

Duane Moody

“As a midfielder, what are you going to bring to the table to ensure that you secure that win for Belize?”

 

Sabrina Eiley, Midfield Center

Sabrina Eiley

“Lots of touches and communication on the field so that we can score and make history for Belize.”

For one athlete, Shandy Vernon, who celebrates her fourteenth birthday today, she says she is going to bring on the heat to the teams.

 

Shandy Vernon, Defense

“I’m the youngest on the team.”

 

Duane Moody

“Are you ready to face giants out there?”

 

Shandy Vernon

“Yes sir.”

 

Duane Moody

“What kind of skills are you bringing to the table?”

 

Shandy Vernon

Shandy Vernon

“A lot my all. My all I’m putting on the table to help this team move forward.”

 

Gina Zabaneh

“The last element that I am trying to work on and the country needs to help me with this is the mental support that they need. They need to have the mental mindset that they can win; they are winners and they will go out there as winners. If they falter, we cannot bring them down. We have to bring them back up and have them stand tall as the giants that they are.”

 

The first game is on Wednesday night against Honduras, then Friday against Guatemala and the third game against El Salvador on Sunday. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The team returns next week Monday.

 

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