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Swieqi United coach Kuipers elated after historic Knock Out success

Judith Kuipers was a relieved person at the final whistle on Friday night.

The Swieqi United coach had finally achieved what her predecessors could not – winning a major silverware for the club.

That was Kuipers’ primary task when the Dutch coach was handed the keys of the Swieqi United’s first-team back in the summer.

The Owls were one of the most active teams during the summer transfer window, focusing a lot on foreign recruitment to bolster their squad in a bid to halt their trophy drought.

Despite the competitiveness of their starting formation, Swieqi came up short in their first two objectives as they finished runners-up in the league and lost the Super Cup final, both at the hands of a dominant Birkirkara side.

Therefore, clinching the women’s cup became even more important to inject some much-needed morale boost inside a squad that was craving to start winning trophies.

“On a personal level, this success is the cherry on the cake because we worked so hard during the season to win something,” Kuipers told the Times of Malta.

“This was the last chance to win a trophy and we wanted to end the season on a high.

It was not easy to reach the final as we faced two strong teams in Birkirkara and Raiders Lija and that is why I think that Swieqi deserve this historic success.”

Asked about her team’s performance in the game, the former Cook Islands coach heaped praise on her side for their strong display in the opening 45 minutes.

Captain Dorianne Theuma, who staged an exemplary performance, and Rebecca Atinga scored Swieqi’s two goals in the first half, essentially putting their side in the driving seat.

Future at the Owls

Atinga, together with goalkeeper Cynthia Konlan and winter signing Salamatu Abdulai are three Ghana internationals who have joined forces with the Owls.

US-born Tatiana Dabney, Brazilian forward Fernanda Peinado and former Venezuela U-20 Rafanny Mendoza are the other trio that composed this year’s list of foreign players.

Upcoming players from the youth squads are also starting to knock on the first-team door, which bodes well for the progress of this Swieqi side.

Kuipers believes that this is just the beginning for Swieqi United as they still have plenty of room for improvement that will help the club become even more competitive in the coming years. “This team has a lot of quality and at the same time we have some new players who need more time to adjust and become even stroger,” she said.

“There is a solid foundation to build on though.”

Whether Kuipers will oversee this growth next season is yet to be known, however.

“I am not sure whether next season I will be here or not. We will speak about it with the committee in the coming weeks.”

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