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Summer Youth Soccer League 2024 Fun Games ends its 2-week run

Young soccer players

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Summer Youth Soccer League 2024 Fun Games for boys and girls 4yrs- 12yrs coordinated by the Football Federation of American Samoa (FFAS), came to a fun-filled and colorful ending last Saturday at the federation’s headquarters at Pago Pago.

The two-week league which kicked off on June 25, was described by FFAS President Fai’ivae Iuli Alex Godinet, as a rollercoaster of non-stop action, fun and laughter.

“It was good to see all these enthusiastic 4 to 5 year-old kids full of energy, chasing after the ball and kicking it every which way they could,” he recounted with a laugh. “We have to remember that these are our grassroots level players and it’s important to let them have fun and develop a love for the game.

“As they grow older, they will aspire to improve their performance and with the right mentoring and coaching, we can hone their skills while they are still in this age group. It is certainly an investment worth making because these are our future national players.”

The FFAS president however pointed out that the first step in this long-term investment, is to capture the youngsters’ interest in the game by providing incentives like colorful uniforms, sports equipment and staging leagues that are fun and enjoyable for them.

He reasoned that it will eventually spark a love of the game as they grow older and the game becomes more and more competitive, especially with the chance to travel to other countries to compete in our national teams if they continue to improve.

Fai’ivae commended the parents and local soccer club leadership for their support by being on-hand everyday to cheer on the young players.

“The guaranteed success of our young players depends on the support of parents and local soccer clubs,” the FFAS president stated. “The federation can do so much, but we can achieve so much more if we all work together.

“We need to introduce the sport at the grassroots level in schools, clubs and villages, so that when these young players are teenagers, they will raise their level of play to a higher level compared to the present situation.”

Fai’ivae’s sentiments were echoed by Competition Manager, Augustine Grey who described the league as a ‘win win’ situation.

“We want the kids to have fun and enjoy the game first,” said Grey. “As they grow older, they will become more competitive and their talent and drive will progress with technical instruction and development.”

He pointed out that with the support of parents, teachers and coaches, these young players can go on to the next level by competing in village, club or school leagues.

This year’s youth summer league proved to be a resounding success with the Pago Pago field filled with young players while their parents and relatives lined up on the sidelines cheering them on.

The field was divided into several small fields where the teams battled it out for the past two weeks in a sea of colors.

It culminated in a prize giving ceremony with players who excelled on the field receiving prizes. However, no one went home empty-handed as each player was given a backpack fully loaded with school supplies.