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Das Frauenfußball-Magazin

Women football international

"I´m living my dream"

Interview with the Jordanian national player Stephanie Mazen Al Naber

Interview von Marion Kehren

>> Deutsche Version

January 29, 2010    The 22-year-old Stephanie Mazen Al Naber is the pride of an entire country. The number 8 in the national jersey is the first and only Jordanian player, which kicks in a foreign league and also has a professional contract. Since more than one year, the midfielder is in the service of the Danish Champion and Master Fortuna Hjørring. Coach Flemming Nielsen was full of praise and happy when his club contractually bind the young talent in 2009.

"Since I started with the football it was always my dream to be able to kick as a professional player in Europe. I have worked extremely hard for this dream, the happier I am now that I've done it," said the likeable Jordanian.

Stephanie Mazen Al Naber

Official player's photo of Stephanie Mazen Al Naber

Photo: Fortuna Hjørring

How Fortuna Hjørring became aware of you? And how did it come to this change?

It was pure coincidence! Last year we participated with the national team in a tournament in the Emirates. In the team of the Emirates was playing at that time an Australian woman named Heather, who had earlier kicked in Hjørring. She asked me whether I would be interested in playing in another European country. Of course, I did not say no, finally I have been waiting long time for such an opportunity. At that moment I did not care where it would driven me, I did not give up that experience.

Stephanie Mazen Al Naber

Stephanie was glad gigantically about the appearance in the tournament in Jöllenbeck

Photo: Tom Schlimme

How the story does go?

In November 2008 I completed a test month in Denmark, which was quite funny and exciting. Then I flew unexpected things back home. In February 2009 I was invited by the association to travel with the team to Turkey to their training camp. Here I got the message from coach Flemming Nielsen, that Fortuna Hjørring would be interested in me and offered me an annual contract. I could not believe my luck! The training camp itself was very tiring. In one week, we completed 7 training units, plus a variety of games against local clubs and against Switzerland.

Stephanie Mazen Al Naber und Chi Igbo

Obviously have fun in the world class tournament 2010 in Jöllenbeck, Stephanie with team colleague Chi Igbo (Nigerian national player)

Photo: Tom Schlimme

Frauenfußball Nationalmannschaft Jordanien

The Jordanian national team, Stephanie (8) is proud to be a part of it. We reported - with the help of Stephanie an others - about women football in Jordan:
>> Jordan, the number one
in the Arab region

Photo: Privatarchiv Stephanie Mazen Al Naber

Till yet you had a few applications in the top division at Fortuna. How do you keep yourself fit and how you will get more match practice?

I train with the first team and if I am not used on the match day, I play for sure in the second team. Thus is guaranteed that I can collect to wide play practise.

Stephanie Mazen Al Naber

Stephanie in the national tricot during the last indoorgames in Asia

Photo: Privatarchiv Stephanie Mazen Al Naber

What are you doing when you're not busy with football? Do you study, you go to a professional activity, or is it a full-time job in Fortuna?

No, I am studying Business Administration at the University of Aalborg. Normally I'm from 9 - 14 clock at the university and after a short break, I go to the training, except on Wednesdays when we have free. On the weekends we have our league games and in my spare time I'm in the city and meet my friends.

Is there a difference between the Danish and the Jordanian football?

Oh yes, a lot! Fortuna Hjørring is a top club and it shows pretty clearly. Starting with the intense workouts for strength and endurance, a hudge number of play practice and of course not to forget the Danish league. Though in Jordan we also train 5-6x in the week, but the quality is another. But we must not forget that in Jordan of women football was established in 2005 and is still near the beginning, the requirements are quite different, although we are in the Arab world already the number 1.

And what did your family say? Finally, you come from a muslim country, or were there no problems?

My family is the reason that I have come so far. Without their support I could never do this. Of course it was hard for them and for me going so far away, I was the first time so long separated from my family. It is a challenge for us all and I'm living this dream since I was little. My family supported me as good as they can.

Stephanie Mazen Al Naber

The lively midfielder can´t be detained so easily from nobody

Photo: Privatarchiv Stephanie Mazen Al Naber

What are now your next aims?

Well, I'll try to keep working hard on myself as possible and stay another year at the club. My contract expires on 13th of June, we have not talked yet about an extension. In any case, I want to stay in Europe. Here I can learn a lot more and as long as I can I will use this as well. That what I have learned in one year in Denmark is much more than what they can teach me in Jordan. If I should come to an end at some point I'll try to get a job in the sports industry or work as a trainer, but I hope that this will take a few years.

Stephanie Mazen Al Naber und Lena Goeßling

Stephanie Mazen Al Naber gegen Aneta Malinova

Another two pictures from Jöllenbeck: first Stephanie with Lena Goeßling from SC 07 Bad Neuenahr, then Aneta Malinova of Sparta Prague against Stephanie

Photos: Tom Schlimme

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