//Garoes continues to play for boys’ team

By Michael Uugwanga

SINCE the tender age of seven, Fransina //Garoes has been playing for Swallows boys’ team from the U-7, U-9, U-13 and now for U-15, which is peculiar for a female player to captain a boys’ team as she did in the Khomas Youth League, before the formation of the MTC Hopsol Youth soccer league, in which she plays for Swallows boys’ U-15 team.
In 2016 she captained her U-11 boys’ team to the Khomas Youth Football League, while still a learner at Auas Primary School in Katutura, Windhoek, barely a year after she joined Swallows Football Academy in 2015.
Swallows Football Academy is one of the best football academies in the country, recognised as best development programme at the 2016 MTC/Namibia Premier League awards.
Now aged 14, //Garoes is a grade 9 learner at Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School in Katutura and continues to play for the team as a central defender and in the midfield and she is the vice-captain of Swallows U-15 boys’ team.
The teenager said what motivates her to continue playing for Swallows is the good coaching she continues to enjoy at the club.
“It is better playing in the boys’ team than playing in the girls’ team because I like the way the coaches at Swallows coach their teams in training and on the field of play. Coaches at Swallows are hard trainers and they give every player the same opportunities to showcase their football skills.
“My coach Khoe-ob Lawal Naobeb and other coaches at the club have really helped me become who I am today and many of our junior players from Swallows are in junior national teams and I am also on my way to the Brave Gladiators. I do want to be part of the national team one day because it is my dream,” said //Garoes.
She dreams of representing Namibia at either junior or at national team level; something that might be tricky for selectors as female footballers considered for national duties are those playing in the league being run by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Women’s Desk such as the Galz & Goals project, regional leagues or in the NFA Women Super Cup.
//Garoes is a big admirer of Brave Gladiators captain Zenatha Coleman who plays professional football in Spain at Seville and loves the work done by former Brave Gladiators coach and now acting technical director of the NFA, Jacqueline Shipanga.
Her football dreams were made possible by the continuing support she gets from her parents since day one.
She also said that even though she wants to play for a girl’s team, she is still happy to stay at Swallows as she is also the first girl to play for that team.
“I like Zenatha Coleman, Mohamed Salah of Liverpool in England and Jafda ‘Pitsi’ Ameb, a national U-20 player and I want to play football like them.
“I am confident that my time will come when I will be playing for the national team. And my dream is also to play for Barcelona Ladies in Spain as they are my favourite European team,” said //Garoes.