October 27, 2021
21-year-old Aliza Akshara Hussein has revealed that football has helped her learn i-Taukei language and understand the true meaning of team work.
Hussein, who is part of the Digicel National Women’s training at Fiji Football Association Academy in Vatuwaqa said her football inspiration came from her siblings.
“My interest came when I was six seeing my brothers playing football at home and watching football games on Television with my father.”
“Football has taught me a lot of things in life like team work, it has given me identity and has taught me discipline, and how people from different places come together and live as a family.”
“I was not a high level student, I was a standard level student who lived on 50-50. So I went beyond through football. I challenged myself that I play football so my parents are also there who want to see me with flying colors.”
“The biggest thing football has taught me is how to speak i-Taukei language. I started with the basics from my teammates,” Hussein revealed.
The former Kamil Muslim College Student got her football break in 2013 at the age of 14 where she caught the sights of Ba women’s official.
“I received my football break through my teacher Miss Fazilat Khan in 2013. I played for my high school and in 2014 I received a chance to play for the Ba women’s district team.”
“I played my first Inter District Championship and Champions Versus Champions with Ba in 2014.”
“I got selected into the national Under 16 trials but due to injury I was not part of the main squad. But I did not lose hope and the recovery motivated me to give in my best.”
“Later, I got selected in the under 16 and went to play in Cook Islands before the Under 19 selection when I was asked to join the team to go to New Zealand and play there. My name got in the national women’s trial list and from there I did my best and set my foot in the national team,” she emphasised.
The Yalalevu Ba native has eyed for the Fijian jumper at the Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in Qatar next year.
“At district level my aim was getting into the national team and now my aim is to get selected for best eleven rather than sitting in the reserves.”
“My dream is to play for Fiji and represent my country in world cup qualifiers in Qatar. It will be tough but I keep pushing myself.”
“I have made a lot of sacrifices. Example, in form seven when I got selected for the trails and camp. Form seven is the last level and decision for the future. In term two, I had to choose a different school and had the fear that my school work would be affected due to my training.”
“But my parents supported and encouraged me which helped me to defy the challenges. The other challenge was that I was the only Indo-Fijian girl and in the beginning I did not know their language. So from there I started to learn the language and began to adapt to their environment.”
In her message, Hussein said parents should not stop their daughters from playing football. She said girls can achieve their dreams in life given the opportunities and much needed support by their loved ones.
“If you have a dream, keep working hard towards it. Trust in God and yourself.”
“To girls who want to play football don’t go on your gender. If you are a girl then it does not mean that you can’t do anything. Don’t make decisions based on your gender. You can do more compared to boys.”
“There are some families that do not support the girls playing football. Because they see clothes are small and school gets affected. Instead of stopping them, help them.”
“You need to encourage them and they will do better in school and sports if you are with them,” she called out,” she added.
In the women’s super league top of the table clash Ba will meet Rewa at 1pm; venue is yet to be confirmed.
By Romeka Romena