The Challenge of Getting Girls into Football

How Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia last year

As we speak there is a large number of female football players on our team but at first we were a group of boys that played together. It was about four years ago from Australia. It was great to have the opportunity to travel overseas and play with the Australian boys. What I love about the sport is the level of skill and technique. Every girl plays with passion and skill. In fact all of our team played in tournaments from one to five. We were competing in the national championships for the South East Asian nations. We were the only Australian team to travel to Thailand to play in the World Cup last year. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to have our coach, Dan Eriksen come over from Sweden and bring back some wonderful ideas and techniques.

We were in training for three weeks. It is very hard work. It’s the same training as male players but there is more attention to detail. You are learning discipline and working for a goal, with training from 7.15am to 3pm, and only at weekends. You can’t ask for a better training environment.

One of the highlights of my life was playing in the first international league in New Zealand. It was a great day especially because the team was made up of girls and I was able to play in front of the family and friends. The level of skill and technique was impressive and it was really satisfying to see the girls play for the first time. It was a little bit of a shock for the audience. The boys weren’t as skilled. They didn’t have a lot of technique or discipline. It was so exciting for girls to see their ability.

I was really enjoying football, and I was determined to make it to the senior team, but there was some difficulty in getting girls into the sport. I would make my mind a big number and think of how much I was going to earn, and that would make me feel like I was at least getting somewhere with football, because even though it’s an international sport, we weren’t earning much money, and I know that if girls

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