It has been a while since you were here. How was your time in Köln? The Corona restrictions were not as strict as they are now – did you have time to see much of the city? Yes, we had some time to visit the city. For me, it was the first time that I visited and I really enjoyed Köln! It is peaceful, lovely and green.
Along with Myriam Benlazar and Rayene Brahimi, you were the first to go through the programme supported by FC and Goethe Institute – how did you find it? It was very interesting; we learned a lot, especially on how a club works internally. It is very rare that a club like 1. FC Köln opens its doors as it did with us. To be honest, this has reinforced our desire to continue to become more professional; both in terms of our coaching and in terms of training. We were very well received. The staff, the coaches and the players were all very welcoming towards us. It was lovely. We felt like at home, like we were part of the club.
Had you met Myriam and Rayene before? All three of you are footballers – did that make spending the week together easier and more enjoyable? I knew Myriam through Instagram, but it was the first time that I met her and Rayene in real life. After the course, we now have a real friendship. During this week our passion for football and the fact that we are from Algeria has really strengthened our relationship. We also had the same goal; learn, enjoy and share.
The course lasted five days – how intense was it and how much did you learn? It was intense but juggling between theory and practice was a good format. Five days is very short, so we had to make the best out of our time in Köln and I think we did that. For me, the five days went very quickly while with FC. We wish had we stayed longer! (laughs). We met many people, from the staff to different players, and we wanted to discover everything there was to see and learn. Our only regret is that we did not have the opportunity to meet the women and men’s first teams because of COVID-19. That does give us an excuse to come back again, though!
How important is it to have programmes like this? It gives you the chance to role models for the next generation of women’s footballers in Algeria. It is important to develop football and also to create awareness around women's football, and to motivate women coaches more. Not only that, but to motivate more women to go into coaching. We want to show to the next generation that becoming a player or a coach is possible even as a woman, and that some barriers need to be broken down.
Is coaching something that you have always been interested in? I had a few experiences in coaching here and there before coming into the programme. For me, it is the logical continuation when you are passionate about football. Our course has motivated me to study more about coaching and to get my professional certification. Jorge Acila inspired me a lot during this program, he shared his passion with us and when you are passionate about something, it makes the difference. What are your next steps following the completion of the first workshop? Study, practice and work hard to obtain my professional certification to coach a team. I really want to develop women's football, especially in Algeria. It is important to share our knowledge that we gain at workshops like this one. Football is all about sharing!
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