With the AFC Asian Women’s Cup just days away, the host nation’s captain has revealed that her team is totally focussed on making Jordan’s World Cup dream come true.
Eight teams will be in Jordan bidding to qualify for the five places available to France next year, and veteran skipper Stephani Al Naber believes that her team can book a date with destiny and become the first Jordan senior football side to qualify to the world stage.
“We have been waiting for this moment for two years,” said the 125-capped star. “We want to be the first Arab women’s team to qualify to the World Cup.
We will do everything we can to be there.” It won't be easy.
The continent’s top eight sides have been split into two groups with the top two from each guaranteeing qualification.
There will also be a third-place play-off to decide the fifth.
“It’s the chance of a lifetime,” said Al Naber.
“We have prepared so hard to be ready and to put ourselves in with a realistic chance of making it. We have gone through so many camps and have played strong friendly matches against top teams.
“The federation has given us everything and now it’s time for us, the players, to return the favor.”
As well as Jordan as hosts, Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam will all be competing in the tournament from April 6-20.
“Hosting the FIFA U17 Girls World Cup in 2016 was a big boost for us in Jordan.
Several of the players in that squad have graduated now to the senior side so they have experience of a big tournament,” she added.
“That tournament was well supported with big crowds for our games, and we want the Jordanian public to come out once again and be our extra player. We hope to make them proud.”