December 8 –Saudi Arabian focus may be on the hosting of their first major FIFA event starting next week – the 2023 Club World Cup – but the Kingdom has still found time to announce the launch of a Women’s U20 national team.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) has been accelerating the growth of the women’s game domestically as well as embracing its international opportunities. The Saudi’s are in the bidding to host the 2027 Women’s Asian Cup, despite the nation only playing their first senior women’s team fixture in September 2022.
Since then the growth of the women’s game in Saudi has seen the reinforcement of the Women’s Premier League, the launch of the SAFF Women’s First Division league, and the SAFF Women’s Cup.
The U20 national team is seen as “a crucial step in enhancing the development of young female footballers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This initiative is part of the SAFF’s broader strategy to create sustainable and clear career paths for aspiring women footballers, reflecting a commitment to the growth of the sport at all levels,” said SAFF.
A training camp of players from the senior national team and current U17 players is currently attending their first training camp in Riyadh from December 5-11.
Pauline Hamil (pictured below, left), who played 141 games for Scotland before coaching the country’s youth teams, will be the head coach and is tasked with building a team that can compete at the highest levels in regional and international competitions.
“A new chapter in Saudi women’s football begins today with the launch of the U20 National Team. This team is a beacon of hope and opportunity for our young athletes, illuminating the path to international success,” said Aalia AlRasheed, Head of the Women’s Football Department at SAFF.
“We are confident that under the expert guidance of Pauline Hamil, these young women will not only grow as players but also become role models for future generations. Their journey represents our unwavering commitment to elevating women’s football in Saudi Arabia and on the global stage.”
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