Luisa to lead U19 in NZ

AD Patel College Year 13 student Luisa Cagi Tamanitoakula has been handed the captain’s armband to spearhead the Vodafone national team’s campaign during the Oceania Football Confederation under-19 Women’s Championship in New Zealand next week.

Tamanitoakula took up football when she was in Year Five and was immediately drafted into the Ba women’s development squad.

She starred for AD Patel College in the Vodafone Secondary Schools Championship in 2014 scoring ten goals.

Aged 16, she represented the national senior women’s team at the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.

Tamanitoakula was extremely surprised when Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel announced her as captain and became emotional during her address to players and guest during the presentation ceremony at the Fiji Football Academy in Ba on Thursday. In an interview afterwards Tamanitoakula said they faced a huge task ahead of them.

“I have been with the girls and I know that it will be a good journey,” she said.

“I never expected to lead the team and the call came as a surprise. I would like to thank the officials for having the trust in me. Without teamwork we would not have come this far. We will play our hearts out for the nation.”

Ba dominates the Fiji women’s U19 team with 11 players while three are from Labasa, two from Savusavu and one each from Nadi, Tailevu Naitasiri, Navua and Labasa.

The team is coached by Saroj Kumar and will depart today.

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