The u15 girls Nelson Mandela Youth Challenge held last week showed that women’s football development is on the rise.

The u15 girls Nelson Mandela Youth Challenge held last week showed that women’s football development is on the rise. Six of the nine provinces in attendance were coached by SAFA qualified women coaches; Daphne Mbanyele from Limpopo, Keep Setsoamong from Free State, Pamella Ngwabeni of Western Cape, Namtandazo Ngwembe from Northern Cape, Ntombifuthi Khumalo of KZN and Keleabetswe Diale from North West.

The two teams that reached the final namely Gauteng and Free State were coached and managed by women.

Gautengs Gae Lephalo walked away with the Coach of the Tournament trophy after defeating Free States Keke Setsoamong in the final 2-1.

Assistant Technical Director of Women’s Football Fran Hilton-Smith was elated that SAFA’s programme to develop more qualified women coaches was paying off.

“This is a record number of qualified women coaching at a tournament and bodes well for the future of women’s football. Two of the coaches already have their CAF A license-The highest level available in SA namely Daphne Mbanyele of Limpopo and Keleabetswe Diale of North West,” said Hilton-Smith.

Three selectors at the tournament Anna Monate, Maud Khumalo and Marion February-all A licensed coaches- selected a pool of players who will be monitored for the upcoming u 17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers.

“This is a trend that needs to continue as SAFA is fully supporting the development of women’s football and women in football at all levels.”

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