|Xayaboury eyes northern football title
The Xayaboury provincial U-16 football team is hopeful of success at the Northern U-16 Football Tournament currently underway in Luang Prabang province.
In the semi-final round of the tournament today, Xayaboury province will face Luang Namtha province, while Luang Prabang will tackle Huaphan.
Earlier this week, Xayaboury took first place in Group A after beating Huaphan 2-0, Oudomxay 7-0 and Bokeo 1-0.
Luang Prabang claimed top spot in Group B by defeating Phongsaly 3-0, drawing with Luang Namtha 1-1 and beating Xieng Khuang 3-1.
It is the first time a team from Xayaboury province has participated in the tournament.
The team's coach, Ms Auo Onefa, said preparation for the tournament was not as smooth as expected but the team was performing well.
“The players have shown good teamwork in their last few matches and I believe they will be able to continue their good form.”
“We lack adequate funding to fully support young footballers in our province, but we're very confident of their skills and potential.”
Ms Auo said football experienced a surge in popularity amongst young people in Xayaboury province after the 25th SEA Games in Vientiane last year.
“After this tournament, we plan to organise an annual football match for U-12 to 14 and U-14 to 16 players to mark International Children's Day and support young footballers.”
The event will be supported by the Xayaboury provincial Education Division and Sports Department.
Young footballers from the province have previously participated in development activities in Vientiane, organised by the Federation Internationale de Football Association.
Although Xayaboury province lacks an experienced coach and adequate funds it plans to send teams to compete in the National Student Games in Savannakhet province in early 2011 and the ninth National Games in Luang Prabang province in late 2011.
This is the fifth time the Northern U-16 Football Tournament has been held, with support lent by the Football Federation of Japan.
Xayaboury, Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang and Huaphan provinces will compete in the National U-16 Football Tournament in Vientiane next year. The Lao Football Federation has already selected teams from Vientiane, Champassak, Saravan and Xekong provinces to compete in the event.