With less than 50 days until the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, Papua New Guinea U-20 assistant coach Rachel Wadunah is participating in her own intensive training.
Wadunah is one of two women, along with Leti Tamasese of Samoa, participating in the OFC B Licence Coaching Course which got underway in Auckland this week.
“This course is more advanced and it goes into more detail,” Wadunah says of the step up from C Licence to B Licence.
“In the C Licence course it was more general but now it’s getting really in-depth, more specific and more tactical,” she said.
As one of two women in a group of 19 coaches, Wadunah could be feeling outnumbered but said she actually feels the opposite.
“Its challenging being in a male-dominated course but it doesn’t stop me from doing it. I like the challenge,” she added.
The course so far has already given Wadunah a deeper understanding of her role as assistant coach by comparing and applying the content to her experience with the Papua New Guinea U-20 women’s team so far.
“The course is helping me a lot because our head coach Lisa Cole has taught me a lot of things but now that I’m here attending the course I can see the link between what she’s taught me and the actual process of how I should go about preparing my team as an assistant coach,” she said.
Wadunah was driven to continue improving as a coach after completing her C Licence and being selected by PNGFA to help Cole lead the young PNG squad to new heights in their first appearance at a FIFA event.
“I’d like to have more experience and also know what I should do as an assistant coach at the World Cup,” she said.
“It’s my goal to get to the highest level. That’s what has driven me to take up the challenges and pursue my career in coaching,” she added.
“This course will give me a good understanding of how I can pursue my career in coaching, especially with the youth, that’s where my interest is.
“I want to build them up so that they can participate in the tournaments.
“The goal is to reduce the gap. They should be competitive at an international level.”
Wadunah was also recently inspired during the PNG U-20 women’s team tour of the United States, where they played seven friendly matches against some of the best university teams in the world.
“The coaches were some of the best in the world in terms of football knowledge and their coaching approach,” she said.
“Their level is far higher than what we have so going there and observing them has driven me to take on the challenge and get to that level,” she added.
The OFC B Licence Coaching Course will run for eight days, concluding on 1 October.
The 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be played in four venues in Port Moresby from 13 November to 3 December 2016, with 16 countries competing for the trophy.