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Monaro Panthers to sign four female players

Canberra Premier League women’s football club Monaro Panthers have shown interest to sign four Solomon Islands players for the 2019 season.

The four players are Lydah Samani (Solomon Warriors), Margaret Kofela (Solomon Warriors), Lisa Selo (Koloale) and Francina Mautai (Koloale).

Another two players Joy Timo (Koloale) and Jemina David (Wansol) are on the standby list.

This was announced today in Honiara by Monaro Panthers women’s football director Ian Worthington who watched the females during trial sessions at SIFF academy on Monday and at Lawson Tama this morning.

Ian said that he was pleased with the raw talents in the Islands which give him a difficult task in deciding on the four selected players.

“As technical director at Monaro Panthers for women’s football we have been in communication with your country”, he said.

“So we have looked the recruitment of players to bring over to our national premier league based in Canberra and we have recognized six players of which four we’ll be offering places to.

“And then if things not able to happen for those four, we’ve also looked to two other players who have been excellent and we see value they would be coming into our programme as well to make a big difference and take us that next step forward we want to as a club.”

The English man highlighted the qualities Solomon Islands women’s players have in their locker.

“The first thing we have noticed is the attitude to apply themselves to everything that we’ve asked, their dedication, their willingness to be here has been outstanding.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the efforts that the girls put in and we just so impressed with that first and foremost which shows us that the girls a coachable.

“They want to succeed not only football but in their lives outside of the game”, Ian added.

Monaro Panthers director for women’s football, Ian Worthington. Photo: SIFF Media

Solomon Islands captain Laydah Samani was surprise by interest from the Monaro Panthers scout.

“I had decided to stop playing at the end of this season but I was caught by surprise with his offer from the Panthers”, she said.

Goal keeper Kofela, Lisa Solo and Francina Mautai were speechless when the Panthers scout called out their names at Lawson Tama after the final trial match between the Solomon Islands national women’s side and a select team today.

Meanwhile, the initiative strike a long term relationship between the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) and the Manaro Panthers Football Club.

Monaro Panthers plays in the National Premier League competition in the Australian Capital Territory region.

The National Premier League is a semi-professional league and is second only to the W-League in the Australian football landscape.

Accompanying the Panthers scout was former SIFF technical staff who speaks highly of women’s football in the country.

The duo left the country this afternoon back to Australia after a short trip to recruit players for the Manaro Panthers.

Ian Worthington and Ian Shaw with Solomon Islands senior women players. Photo: SIFF Media



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