OFC: New Zealand may have beaten Papua New Guinea to deny them a shot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year, but for goalkeeper Fidelma Watpore the 2014 edition of the OFC Women’s Nations Cup will live long in her memory.
The 26-year-old’s last memory of playing the 19th ranked side in the world was of seeing 11 goals shipped past her.
This time around Watpore, with her teammates kept the Football Ferns to just 3-0, while also recording 4-1 and 3-0 victories against Cook Islands and Tonga respectively.
Her impressive performances between the sticks earned her the honour of top goalkeeper for the tournament – a prize she’s beyond ecstatic to have received.
“It’s my first time getting something like this,” she exclaims.
“I feel proud of myself. I wanted to play hard for the whole competition.”
Watpore says the entire experience in Kokopo was fantastic.
From bonding with her teammates and making new friends to taking on some of the world’s best footballers, she says it has been a learning curve.
“I like making friends with new people and I learned new things playing against New Zealand especially.
“It was my second time against them and I played my best to help my team to Canada but we weren’t lucky this time.
“I put all my trust in myself that we could do well against New Zealand, and I supported the other girls too.”
Next on the agenda for the Golden Glove winner is the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby – another chance to prove herself on home soil.
“I’m ready to perform for my country and to win another gold. I really want to help my team to victory so I will be training hard between now and then,” she says.
Papua New Guinea finished runners-up at the 2014 OFC Women’s Nations Cup in Kokopo, Papua New Guinea, held the 25-29 October 2014.