Northern Mariana Islands Football Association’s Junior National Academy sees a lot of potential from the members of the 2020 fall class and can’t wait to engage them in a top-level training system.
The fall class is made of 26 players, who showed commitment and hard work during the series of tryouts conducted by JNA coaches last month and early this month. The select group includes Matansa Football Club’s Yutaka Kadokura and Nolan Ngewakl; MP United Football Club’s Akeen Edvalson, Taiga Namai-Scoffins, Jack Raho, Moshe Sikkel, and Henry and Stephan Yeom; Paire Football Club’s Mary Devine Amog, Phoenix Sapphire Gross, Justidy Mizutani, and Caurie Stafller; Southern United Football Club’s Michael Elayda; Wynona Julene Blas; Kanoa Football Club’s Valerie Estella, Paul Lizama, Tyrone James Manipon, and Arstin Tagabuel; and TanHoldings Football Club’s Kohjiro Goto, Terel Hix, Daniel Sano, Julie Chavez, Matty Angeles, and Kaye and Mark Costales.
“All the players show great potential and we are very excited to coach these newly discovered future talents of the CNMI National Team,” JNA head coach Jersh Angeles said.
Angeles added that in selecting the members of the fall class, they considered the players’ notable qualities, such as exceptional speed, communication skills, and aggressiveness both on the offensive and defensive end.
“We will be working on improving their skills and techniques, game strategies, and stamina in the next four months,” Angeles said.
The group will start their training sessions tomorrow at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville. They will also work out with JNA coaches on Sept. 24, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, Nov. 5, 12, and 19, and Dec. 3 and 10.
Meanwhile, the Costales siblings are excited for the chance to train under NMIFA’s program and vow to do their best and work with their teammates.
“I feel honored to be a part of the Junior National Academy. I believe it’s a good opportunity to make myself a better play and learn more about soccer. I’m thankful to NMIFA for continuing the program even at this time of the pandemic. I expect to enhance my skills and be a better player after this training,” the 12-year-old Mark said.
His younger sibling, Kaye, said she will take advantage of the opportunity to train under NMIFA coaches since tournaments are still suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also thankful that she gets to spend time on the pitch after school and work on improving her soccer skills,” the 11-year-old said.
JNA is one of NMIFA’s grassroots programs for players in the 10 to 12 age group. Players selected on the pool are prepared for higher-level competitions and national team training system. JNA is holding another tryout this month and they will be for girls only, as NMIFA is hoping to get enough female players to create a separate pool from the boys.