The dolls were left to one side; the little kitchen plastic too. The soccer ball that during the childhood of their mothers it was an infamous object is the fundamental part of the game that if they want they can play. Still with barriers, it’s true. But less and less clubs are banning and more girls who want to play ball and who see that it is possible.
Like Tuesday night, when the TV showed the final of the Women’s Transition Tournament that Boca beat River 7-0 in one of the best stadiums in the country. Although if it is about formative divisions, it is the Millionaire the team that scores, since the Xeneize for now it only has First and Reserve, the categories required by the AFA.
Daniel Reyes, in the preview of the match on TNT Sports, made it clear: “The key to everything for what is to come is to focus strongly on all teams in the training categories”. River’s coach did not refer in vain to a management that began in 2014 and that already has more than 100 girls playing football in the club between the categories Sub 12, Sub 14, Sub 16 and Reserve (Sub 19), in addition to a training school that emerged in 2020 but stopped the coronavirus pandemic.
The cover photo of the women’s soccer section includes the girls from the lower ranks. Photo Press River
“When we started, what we tried was replicate the male soccer model, in which River was always characterized by having good inferiors and many boys promoted to the superior team, in addition to supplying the national teams with their players. Is as a trademark of the club. So, we started to bet on that, that the players arrive in better conditions to the First Division, because – if not – you have technically incredible players but they don’t break it because they lack training work, “he tells Clarion Gabriela Cenoz, a member of the Núñez club’s women’s soccer board of directors.
For the leader, “there is the basis for women’s football to grow because it is not useful that there are four teams (River, Boca, San Lorenzo and UAI Urquiza) that always have the chance to win.”
And complete: “For us, in the final we did not do well but there is no difference of seven goals between River and Boca. It was a night in which everything came out for them and us nothing and it was chaos. generate, so that it is also more attractive to the public, is that there are more teams in a position to fight for the lead and you do not beat all the teams by a landslide because you are River or Boca. It is very important that emphasis is placed on lower divisions for that reason , because from there they are going to get to the First Division physically and with strength “.
Daniel Reyes, the head of River’s professional women’s football, during the final of the Transition Tournament at the Vélez court. Photo EFE / AGUSTÍN MARCARIAN
Both the First and the River Reserve train every day, while the Sub 16 does it four times a week and for the Sub 14, which is two-time champion of the Conmebol National Cup, the fourth practice is optional. The reality is very different from other equipment with less investment, such as Future, the only club that did not score goals in the Transition Tournament and together with Villa San Carlos he did not score points, where they usually train only twice a week.
The other important and differential aspect that Cenoz confirms is having entrusted women’s football to specialists, as they were Diego Guacci in the past and Daniel Reyes, who before being his field assistant was in charge of the female team of a private school in La Lucila with a strong American imprint, where he met girls who had been trained in that high-level football.
“They historically dedicated themselves to the women’s divisions. And what we did in the lower divisions was also incorporate former players from the First team into the coaching staff. We invite them to do the career of physical trainers or technical directors so that they too become professional and have a job opportunity on that side. Thus, all our lower divisions are led by former players: Estefanía Fontán, Marina Fiorotto and Viviana Vázquez Roa “, adds Cenoz.
Lorena Benítez, from Boca, disputes the ball with Vanessa Penuna, from River, in the final of the Argentine First Division Women’s Professional Tournament between Boca Juniors and River Plate at the José Amalfitani stadium in Buenos (Aires). EFE / Juan Ignacio Roncoroni POOL
The lack of competition from formative football It is a debt that the AFA owes with clubs like River and that perhaps helps to understand why others still prefer not to spend resources on inferior ones that they will inevitably need in the future.
“The issue of competition is complicated, although now AFA launched a program with much more development for the lower teams. Now, if you are not as a club generating friendlies, it is very difficult to make them train without a goal and without playing, which is what they like. Luckily that level began to grow and invitations arrive to play in places that do not require too much cost and like River we can face it. But for a smaller club, putting a bus to go to the interior of the country is also a costly question, “he acknowledges the leader.
The fruits are seen in the selected juveniles. Last year, River was the club that contributed the most to the South American Sub 20: Giuliana González, Nicole Hain, Stephanie Melgarejo (she replaced the injured Martina Del Trecco, also from the club), Justina Morcillo and Melina Melipil were summoned. While three months ago Belén Ludueña, Sofía Domínguez, Catalina Alfonso, Lara Esponda and Luciana Duarte participated in the training of the Sub 17 of Diego Guaci, also responsible for the Sub 15 together with Bárbara Abot.
“For us it is super important and for the players to also be called up to the national teams, especially when they are very young and what they want is to show themselves and develop. In the past, it also gave them quality training that their clubs did not have. . That no longer happens and that is why that fight of ‘don’t take me players because I have a match’ begins, as happened last year during the Reserve tournament and calls for U-17 friendlies. We understand that the National Team needs to grow to continue training but we also defend what is ours and that was our championship, because in the lower divisions is where we see all our work reflected“, reinforces.
For 2021, the AFA only obliges the clubs to have 12 players with a contract in the First team and a Reserve Under 19 team. just next year will require a youth team Sub 16 and in 2023, a Sub 14. “We cannot start from the bottom, because today the clubs did not have girls playing football, but they did have girls playing football in stages, giving them time to prepare to incorporate them,” explained Jorge Barrios, president of the women’s football commission, when the ad.
The other debt is to achieve federal women’s soccer. Currently, the teams in the Primera tournament are from the AMBA, with the exception of Rosario Central, which was incorporated in 2019 without going through promotion, a measure that generated some risk. There are good players and this is demonstrated by the calls of the national teams, where Social Lux de Rosario is a regular. In this sense, the implementation from this season of the Federal Cup, alter ego of the Men’s Argentina Cup, which will have the same number of teams from the Metropolitan Preliminary Phase and the Regional Preliminary Phase in its final phase.
The debt that River has with its players, meanwhile, is to enable them the Monumental, a stadium in which they could not play yet. Perhaps the renovation of the Antonio Vespucio Liberti will definitely open the doors to them.