CNMI U14 team to continue training


The CNMI U14 Boys National Team players line up during the opening ceremony for the AFC U14 Regional (East) Festival of Football 2016 held last week at the Xianghe National Football Training Center in Beijing, China. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI U14 Boys National Team that just returned from China after playing in the AFC U14 Regional (East) Festival of Football 2016 will resume training for upcoming tournaments next year.

“We will just take a break for about two weeks and then go back to the field to train. Coach Seki (Northern Mariana Islands Football Association technical director and CNMI men’s team head coach Kiyoshi Sekiguchi) wants to keep the team intact as some of them are eligible to play for the U15 squad and others for the U14 team in another festival next year,” said Jershwin Angeles, who called the shots for the U14 crew that participated in last week’s festival at the Xianghe National Football Training Center in Beijing.

“We will start with a once a week training as coach Seki and I are also working with our boys U17 team,” Angeles added.

The CNMI U14 team, which had Michael Rojas, Sebastien Manabat, Mark Salamat, Kirt Andon, Ichiro Borja, Terrence Montenegro, John Guiller Canape, Jamin Elliot, Edward Cho, Mark Esalan, Joshua Waldon, Brandon Delos Reyes, Christian Aldan, Kirro Batino, Thomas Benavente, John Paul Cruz, Joshua Mendez, and Eun Syu Hahn as members, returned from China last Monday after playing four games in the festival.

The Teen Ayuyus dueled Guam in their first game and forced a draw, 2-2. Up next for Angeles’ wards was Japan, which handed the CNMI a 17-0 beating. The Commonwealth bets were also routed by South Korea, 14-0, before ending the two-game scoring drought after making two goals against Mongolia in their last game in the AFC event. Mongolia tallied seven goals to deny the CNMI the elusive win.

“Of course everybody wants to win so the boys were a bit sad when we lost to Mongolia. But, I told them there’s nothing to be ashamed of because they gave all their best in the game and in our first three matches. South Korea and Japanese are really strong teams, their skills are way up there,” Angeles said.

“We lost the last three matches, but those defeats will eventually help our players because after the festival they were able to realize how strong the other teams are and what they should to do keep up with them. We can’t catch up with the other teams’ height, but in skills and speed, we can. I just hope after the festival, our players will push themselves to develop their skills and speed more,” he added.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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