Women National Team Head Coach Manuela Tesse shared her thoughts about facing Haiti in a friendly match, three weeks short of their maiden world cup participation.
The WNT will be playing a friendly match on Saturday July 1st at the Stade D’Octodure in Martigny, Switzerland (kick-off: 18.00). Prior to this friendly game, a squad of 31 players participated in a Training Camp over the span of three weeks, where Tesse had the opportunity to observe several upcoming youngsters amongst which a few sixteen-year-old players. “As soon as I took over the WNT, I spoke of the potential I observed, and it is our job and that of the clubs’ coaches to take care and nurture the talent of these very strong young players.”
Due to being outside the international window, several key players were unable to join the squad, particularly those from Birkirkara who are currently gearing up for their Champions League campaign. However, this unforeseen circumstance has given Coach Tesse an opportunity to introduce new faces including Tammy Falzon, Georgiana Mifsud, Amy Busuttil, Yulya Carella, and Sarah Vella Barberi in the final call-up! Tesse considers this as an opportunity of growth for these young players to play in such high-level matches.
In the previous three friendly matches under the helm of Tesse, the WNT have won both games against Luxemburg and the game against Estonia. Ranked 53rd in the FIFA rankings Haiti are undoubtedly a stronger side to face. They have also secured a place in the FIFA Women World Cup finals for the first time in the country’s history. Led by Frenchman Nicolas Delépine, the Haiti side boasts a cluster of proficient attackers, capable of finding the net against any opponent albeit the team being composed of several young and less experienced players in the international field. Most of the players play profession football in the USA and France.
“Haiti is a strong team and their participation in the World Cup is an indication of this, however this friendly is also important for us, since during one of their preparation matches, Haiti have also played Moldova, a team who is also in Malta’s group.” With the WNT’s forthcoming participation in the Nations League, Tesse will use this match to compare the level of the WNT with that of one of the team’s upcoming opponents. Tesse emphasised that the team should not think of the opponent but rather concentrate on the team’s philosophy of football, playing good football and produce a positive performance.