How Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia: An interview with Mina Ahmad Agha
The story of how Afghanistan’s women’s football team made it to Australia.
“My mother, who is from Afghanistan, says if the door is not opened when a child is born, it never opens.”
There was no easy start for Afghanistan’s women’s football team during their nine-week tour of Australia in September 2014. The team’s coach, Mina Ahmad Agha, was taken by the challenge of the training schedule, the travel and a return trip to Afghanistan. But even with all the hurdles they faced, she credits her team of women.
The women’s football team made its first trip to Australia in May 2013, and coach Mina Agha says the time in Melbourne had a huge impact on the players.
“There were so many things happening that we had never experienced before in our lives,” Mina said.
“There were women who were helping us, there were people who were praying for us – so many things that came into our lives that I hadn’t known before. That really prepared us for the journey ahead and it really made us who we are today.”
For Mina, the opportunity to coach at Australia’s under 18 and under 20 competitions, alongside the opportunity to train at an elite level was more than just a dream come true.
“My dream when I was 10 years old was to play for the women’s football team, and I was able to do that,” Mina explained.
“I was able to play for them at under 18 and under 20, which is the highest level in Australia. And with that, you get to be with the international coach, so it was a really nice opportunity for my career.
“If I had not gotten that chance I would have never met the people and the coach that I have met in my life, and to be able to play for the women’s team that has been my dream for so many years, it is incredible.”
While in Sydney coach Mina Agha travelled to other sporting venues with the women’s team, which included training for two days at the Sydney Olympic