A Guam U14 girls academy team of 18 players will travel to Saipan over the Thanksgiving holiday for a training camp and a pair of friendly football matches against their Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands counterparts.
“The objective of this training camp is to provide the young players the experience of an elite training environment outside of Guam, as well as to gain playing minutes in competitive matches as selected representatives of Guam in international football,” said Chyna Ramirez, Guam U14 academy head coach. “Gaining these experiences early on will be helpful in their football development moving up to the youth national team program. Not only will they be better prepared for future international matches at the upper-age divisions, but they’ll also bring back these experiences to help in raising the level of their respective club teams.
“I believe the selected players are ready to test themselves in the upcoming matches. Over several months this year, they have been fortunate to also receive coaching and mentoring from various past and present coaches in the women’s program, including current Masakåda head coach Ross Awa, former Masakåda head coach Sakiko Ogura, Hannah Cruz, Keleko Fejeran, Isabella Bass, and Kiarra Hutcherson, among others,” Ramirez added.
Ramirez and her coaching staff selected 18 players for the traveling roster. The group includes three goalkeepers, Gabriella Edwards, Kahlan Hancock and Jady Elora Raval. The field players are Kelly Cho, Melody Cho, Elyse Concepcion, Fejera Cruz, Kirra Cruz, Marion Finney, Lilah-Reese Finona, Meria “Melu” Harmon, Chloe Laxamana, Aliana Meno, Gifty Merrill, Charlie Mesa, Julia Perez-Jackson, Aeva Sablan and Kathryn Wong.
Traveling with Ramirez as part of the staff are Hannah Cruz and Keleko Fejeran.
The team will leave Guam Friday morning with a scheduled training session later in the day. The team’s first match against CNMI will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday. The team will play a second match at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Both matches will be played at the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association Soccer Training Center. The teams will play in an 8v8 format.
“I would like to thank the Guam (Football Association) executives and management for supporting this valuable opportunity for some of our youngest elite athletes and also the NMIFA for working with us to realize this training camp,” Ramirez said. “I also would like to thank the players and their parents for their commitment to football development through the GFA Women’s National Program and its initiatives.”