As preparations continue well off the pitch for Jordan to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in September, on the pitch the new coach is also pleased with progress.
Fifteen of the world’s top teams head to Jordan in 12 weeks to join the host nation for what promises to be a feast of football.
But rather than just making up the numbers, English coach, Robbie Johnson, says his Jordan team is shaping up well and could surprise the big guns, with Spain first up on opening night.
“Jordan’s U-17 women’s team is extremely enthusiastic and the players are keen to learn,” said Johnson, who took up the reins at the beginning of March. “They’re a happy bunch. The girls who’ve been selected must, while working together with the backroom staff, give all they’ve got to be at their best, in terms of their physical and technical preparation. That will ensure that we can compete at the tournament.”
The team is made up of a core group of girls who won the AFC U-14 Girls’ Regional Championship (West Zone) and subsequently moved up to U-17 level. From the moment that Jordan were selected as hosts, the players began training – over several different stages – for the prestigious event.
They have taken part in high-energy training camps in Uzbekistan, Egypt and Portugal, and despite having to juggle schoolwork and football, they have been given invaluable support from their families, who encouraged them to train hard. This is turn has helped them to achieve the necessary focus out on the pitch.
The Jordanians are currently running daily training sessions and plan to embark on further training camps in the coming days, first in Germany and then in England in August. After that, Johnson’s charges will return to Amman for the final stage of their preparations, which will entail playing friendly matches against other competing teams.