ANB Futbol has had a women’s program since its inception, but always on youth training side. In the past, by the time female players turned 16, the players looked for university scholarship opportunities on other club teams due to the non-sanctioned status of ANB Futbol within the OSA. However, since OSA sanctioning of private academies two years ago, ANB Futbol has slowly built the female program and is now ready to challenge younger female players to reach a higher competitive standard. Some players that Academy Director, Bassam Naim trained in the past have indicated they are looking forward to return to ANB Futbol and be a part of League 1.
We have worked with younger female athletes who have been a part of ANB Futbol for many years. They are still young (average 17 to 18 years old) but we are looking to mix them with returning scholarship athletes who will provide some maturity & physical strength. Most of the younger players have been training since January and are excited to have the opportunity to play at the League1 level.
There are a lot of young players, but one in particular stands out – Kelsey Araujo ’98 attacking MF – who has been with ANB Futbol since she was ten years old.
She has already verbally accepted an athletic scholarship at a Div. 1 university in the United States. Additionally, she was identified by professional European coaches & scouts at last year’s ANB Futbol ID camp and spent three weeks in the summer with Olympique Lyonnais U-19 team where she was offered a spot on the team.
She decided to stay in Canada for the time-being, but the club is interested in following her progress. We hope to talk about more ANB Futbol athletes as they start play in the league.
Ambition & goals are to keep the players healthy as it is a long season. Additionally, we want to see the players grow & develop in the game since they are young.
We feel there are a few players who have national team potential and we hope they will be looked at and perhaps invited to national team youth camps in the near future. Playing against quality opposition will force them to be more tactically aware of the game.
The league standards, especially five substitution, no re-entry rule, will see the players become more physically capable of handling game scenarios.