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Matavera-Ngatangiia women blaze a trail in Cook Islands Football

Wednesday 20 December 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Football, Sports

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Matavera-Ngatangiia women blaze a trail in Cook Islands Football
The women of Matavera-Ngatangiia Football Club (MNFC). CIFA /23121912

When the annals of Cook Islands football are written, the weekend's events will undeniably claim a chapter of their own.

The Senior Women’s Knockout Final of the Rarotonga Football Season bore witness to a spectacle that was nothing short of extraordinary.

The women of Matavera-Ngatangiia Football Club (MNFC) shattered the glass ceiling and etched their names in the history books, clinching a victory that has been decades in the making.

The significance of this victory cannot be overstated.

Since the introduction of football in the Cook Islands in 1992, MNFC had never claimed a first-place title.

Their journey over the years had been arduous, with the team often finding itself at the bottom of the league.

However, this season, they defied the odds and silenced the skeptics.

Their historic win is a ringing endorsement of the remarkable strides that women's football has made in the Cook Islands over the years.

The match itself was a masterclass in persistence, resilience, and teamwork.

Just 19 minutes into the game, Kimberly Uini, a key player, and relentless force on the field, pierced through the defence to convert the match's only goal.

Her strikes echoed throughout the game, a testament to her passion and her unwavering determination to secure the win.

It would be remiss not to mention the pivotal role played by other members of the team.

Vahine Uini, Kimberly's sister, along with Tearoa Rouru, Patty Teaea, Debora Mataio, Tanga Morris and Talei Blake who all put on stellar performances throughout the match.

Their skills and talent shone brightly on the pitch.

The entire team's synergy and unwavering resolve played a significant role in MNFC's crowning glory.

President of MNFC, Jake Numanga, wore his pride on his sleeve as he commended the team.

"It is a result of the collective effort from the entire team," he shared, his voice brimming with admiration.

He acknowledged the players' immense growth throughout the season, both individually and as a team.

"They played with heart, and it's a joy to see them rewarded with this historic win," he remarked, attributing the victory to the diligent coaching of Raymond Newhnam and Annie Uka and the commitment of each player.

MNFC's victory comes on the heels of another historic moment in Cook Islands women's football.

Just a few weeks ago, the women from Avatiu FC made their own mark in history, securing first place in the Champions League.

These back-to-back victories have stirred up a renewed sense of anticipation and excitement within the football community.

The Women's World Cup recently held in the Oceania region was a resounding success, with two historical moments in the Cook Islands, highlighting the untapped potential that lies within

With such monumental strides in women's football, there is a palpable sense of optimism that our players will gain increased visibility and opportunities on the international platform.

The journey of MNFC, from languishing at the bottom of the league to tasting the sweet victory of a historic win, is a testament to their grit, determination, and undying spirit.

Their victory is more than just a win, it's a beacon of hope, a source of inspiration, and a powerful message to every aspiring female footballer in the Cook Islands.

The women of MNFC have shown us that in football, just as in life, it's not where you start that matters, but where you finish.

They've set the bar high, and there's no doubt that they have earned their place in the spotlight.

As we celebrate their triumph, we look forward to seeing more groundbreaking performances in the future of women's football.

With every pass, every strike, and every goal, the women of Cook Islands football are carving their path and shaping their destiny.

Their journey has just begun, and the world is watching.

CIFA