Q&A with Female Player of the Year Narmandakh Namuunaa
There is a short history of organized women's football in Mongolia. A national women's league was only formed in 2015 while the senior national team launched three years later. While the history of the women's game in the country is short, the list of accomplishments for some players is certainly not. Today we sit down with this year's Best Female Player award winner and current all-time top scorer of the senior women's national team Narmandakh Namuunaa to learn a little more about her and women's football in Mongolia.
Q: Where were you born and when did start playing football?
A: My name is Namuunaa but people who play football call me Nami. I am 23 years old. I was born and raised in Darkhan-Uul province of Mongolia. I started playing football there in 2014.
Q: We know about your success at Arvis FC and now Storm FC. What other clubs have you played for throughout your career?
A: Darkhan City FC (2014-2015), Erchim FC (2016-2017), Khad FC (2017-2018), Arvis FC (2019-2020), Khökh Chononuud FC (2021), Storm FC (2022-present)
Q: What awards have you won as an individual and with your clubs? A: If an athlete wins an award, then of course there is a reward for hard work.
2015: National Championship 2017: Women's Premier League Bronze Medal
2017: Best Striker
2018: Eastern Championship Preliminary Champion
2018: Women's Premier League Gold Medal 2018: Best Midfielder
2019: Women's Premier League Bronze Medal
2022: Women's Premier League Gold Medal
2022: Best striker
2022: Golden Ball (Best Female Player)
Q: Storm FC is a new club. Why did you decide to join after your great success with Arvis?
A: Yes, Storm are a new club and the reason I joined was that I liked the offer and I really liked the atmosphere in the team.
Q: You missed time this season because of injury. Could you tell me more about that?
A: I've had a lot of times when I've gone into games injured. I am proud of myself for overcoming those times when I cried and played with painkillers.
Q: Do you hope to play abroad? If so, have you had offers? A: Of course, there is a desire to play abroad. If you get a chance, try not to miss it.
Q: Do you have another job outside of football? A: Yes. For now, it is not possible to live on soccer in Mongolia.
Q: What are your goals for the national team? A: My goal of playing for the national team has come true, so I want to live in a place where I can play football.
Q: There are talented players in Mongolia, but other than yourself who would you consider to be some of the best?
A: Some of the best are my national teammates Tsolmon Ganchimeg and Altantuya Altansukh. Altantuya Altansukh is with me at Storm FC also.
Q: How does it feel to be the national team's all-time top scorer?
A: Of course, I think that being a national team player should be very responsible and very humble rather than being better than others.
Q: Do you have any goals you'd like to achieve in 2023?
A: In 2023 I want to play abroad as much as possible.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to Mongolian football fans?
A: I would like to thank a few people who stood by me during the most difficult times.