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Women’s football   Mont Fleuri Rovers happy with Madagascar tourney |17 January 2023

Women’s football     Mont Fleuri Rovers happy with Madagascar tourney

PASCALINA MOUSTACHE … Scorer of two goals in two friendly matches

After a four-year break, the Mont Fleuri Rovers women’s football team went on another exchange visit to Madagascar earlier this month and manager Damien Jean has described it as “very fruitful and rewarding”.

The team left on January 2 and returned on Sunday January 15.

This is the third time the Mont Fleuri Rovers team have gone of an overseas trip. In 2017, they went to Madagascar and in 2018 they visited South Africa.

Despite missing some key players like Natacha Bibi and coach Florence Marie who could not make the trip to Madagascar this time, the Mont Fleuri Rovers women’s football team played two matches against Malagasy champions AC SabNam Vakinankaratra and lost both.

Captain Pascalina Moustache, who is also the skipper of the Seychelles national team, was on target in both matches. After AC SabNam Vakinankaratra had taken a 2-0 half-time lead in the first match played on Friday January 6, Moustache cut the deficit to 2-1 early in the second half, but the Malagasies went on to score two more goals for a 4-1 win.

In the second match on Thursday January 12, Itarra Lagrenade equalised to send the Seychelles team into the dressing room at 1-1 at half-time. AC SabNam Vakinankaratra, who have reached the second round of the ongoing Malagasy championship, scored twice after the restart to make it 3-1 before captain Moustache hit the back of the opponents’ net to reduce the score to 3-2 and give her team hope of pulling off a draw, but it was not to be as the Malagasies had the last laugh with a fourth goal for a 4-2 victory.

“We played two tough matches against the Malagasy champions. Our first match kicked off at 2pm on a very hot day. It was tough playing under a very hot sun and some decisions by the Malagasy referee affected us,” Moustache told Sports NATION yesterday.

Moustache who has been part of all three trips added: “We are on the whole satisfied with our tourney and I am persuaded that had our striker Natacha Bibi been present, we would have beaten them.”

As for manager Jean, he added that while in Madagascar the team benefitted from the coaching of Malagasy Ahmed Abdou who used to play for La Passe.

Mr Jean said he always looks for sponsors to bring his players on overseas trips after winning the league title the previous year. But this time, although no league competition was played last year, they still decided to travel to Madagascar.

“It is the team’s philosophy to reward the girls since local women’s teams don’t get any reward, like an overseas trip from the Seychelles Football Federation for winning the league title. This is why I look for sponsorship to bring my team on overseas trips,” manager Jean told Sports NATION.

Other than being part of the recognition for the team’s performance, it is a way to attract more female players to join the team. Apart from playing friendly matches, the players get to tour and learn about the countries they visit.

“These trips help to band the players together in a united manner,” manager Jean added.

He concluded by thanking all the sponsors, especially Steve Khambatta, Elvis Chetty and the Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) ‒ for their valuable contributions.

The delegation who have made the trip consisted of 13 players ‒ Elvina Marie, Alisha Matatiken, Juna Philo, Rania Chetty, Jahnella Moustache, Guyra Boniface, Pascalina Moustache, Itarra Lagrenade, Vesna Cesar, Melissa Bouzin, Nerlis Fred, Mahatias Labrosse and Emily Etienne ‒ manager Jean, Rebecca Arissol (member of management), and Damiano Jean (ball boy).


Gerard Govinden


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