British International School, Phuket (BISP) Year 13 student Jasmine Chongsanguan recently represented the under 18 Phuket girls football team in a tournament with qualification for the annual Youth National Games – taking place next March in Chanthaburi – at stake.
The three-way contest saw the young Phuketians take on hosts Trang and a strong Nakhon Si Thammarat side – who came second in the last Youth Games.
After a disappointing 10-0 loss to the Nakhon side, the girls – captained by Jasmine – came back to beat Trang 3-0 and qualify for the Youth National Games for the first time in the island’s history, a remarkable achievement given their relative inexperience playing together, and bringing joy to Phuket head coach Songyot Hemhong.
“I first met the girls in the Phuket team when I played against them last year for BISP,” says Jasmine. “We won 5-1 and I scored 4 of the goals! After the game, they asked me to join them.”
While she’s been training with them on and off ever since, the mini-tournament in Trang, held 17-21 October during the school’s recent midterm break, was the first time Jasmine had played competitively for Phuket.
“A lot of the girls were young, many of them 12 to 15 years-old, and the team was only formed a year ago.
“It will be difficult at the Youth Games as many of the teams will be from sports schools, and train day and night, but it will still be an amazing learning experience for all of us. There’s also plenty of time to improve between now and next March.
“From the Trang tournament I gained valuable experience playing 11-a-side, and I also learned to communicate in Thai on the football field. As captain, and one of the older girls, I had to lead by example. Ultimately though, it was a lot of fun and a chance to make friends.”
For more information on football at BISP, contact Richard Stockings: [email protected]