US-born Digicel Young Kulas stylish midfielder Preeya Chandra Singh dedicated her Player of the Match award to the team after their 1-0 win over New Caledonia in the quarterfinal of the OFC Women’s Under 19 Championship in Suva on Saturday.
Singh was instrumental in assisting sensational striker Ema Mereia to score the winning goal.
The 18-year-old said through gallant team effort, Fiji was able to overcome a gutsy New Caledonia outfit which had the services of three players who recently won the inaugural Women’s Champions League in Papua New Guinea.
“I feel really happy because it was a very hard match but in the end, we pushed through and got the goal. I’m just really excited.”
“When I came to play, I didn’t know much about this award but I’m surprised and feel honored.”
“It’s really special for me and the girls because we all worked hard for this game and this award is for the girls and also my family back home in Fiji and the US who have been very supportive.”
The University of California Merced (UC Merced) student said she chose to represent Fiji as this was her 56-year-old father’s dream.
“My dad Dinesh Singh is from Kulukulu, Sigatoka and mum is from Nadi so that made me eligible to play for Fiji. My dad always encouraged me to play football together with my studies and he even came with me to Fiji.”
“Having him around makes me feel really special and his support means a lot to me. Even he really wanted me to play for Fiji and it’s really amazing to play here.”
Despite Fiji qualifying for the semifinals, Singh said they have learned some valuable lessons from New Caledonia which they will utilise against Samoa.
“New Caledonia was like a really good opponent although we were not tested as New Zealand did.”
“We made a few mistakes but that’s all part of learning and moving forward as we prepare for the next game. I want to continue working on my speed and passes although I am well adjusted to playing the style the coach has set for the team.”
“Next game will be tough because we’ll be playing Samoa, a team we’ve never played before. The plan is to help Fiji win the final.”
Fiji will face Samoa in the first semifinal on Wednesday.