Football is such a universal game that even women are part of it, football is a language spoken by all and newly appointed coach of the Eastern Cape u19 Women’s provincial team Ms Gaironissa Daniels is very fluent in the language of football.

Football is such a universal game that even women are part of it, football is a language spoken by all and newly appointed coach of the Eastern Cape u19 Women’s provincial team Ms Gaironissa Daniels is very fluent in the language of football.

SAFA media officer Namhla Mphelo took some time to speak to her at the National SAFA Women’s u19 Championships currently underway in Tembisa, Gauteng.

NM: Coach welcome to the city of gold. Give me a brief background about you and your love of the beautiful game?

GD: Thank you very much it is always a pleasure to be in this fast pace province. Well I come from a family that loves football, my father played and my uncle was a coach, I was that young girl back in the day who would always tag along with my uncle to the grounds and every time I had access to a soccer ball I would fool around with it. I played for Banyana Banyana back in 1996 at the age of 18 years and retired at the age of 36 I have never looked back. I love the game with all that I am and I want to be part of the growth of women’s football in this country.

NM: You are now a coach what level of coaching are you at and what are your prospects for the future?

GD: Yes I am an official coach, I was actually appointed as the Head Coach of the Eastern Cape provincial team a few days before this current tournament, by the grace of God. I am on my level D coaching course but I intend to study further. I want to coach at the highest level and understand that to do that I will have to put aside the time to do the courses, I want to give back to football as I have learnt so much through football that these young girls need to learn.

NM: Congratulations on the appointment, talk to me about your team, you won 5-0 this morning against Mpumalanga. How is it to coach teenagers?

 GD: *laughs* They are a handful I must be honest, my daughter also plays in this team and coaching them is like raising 23 daughters at once. But I love the challenge they keep me young at heart. I am honoured to have this opportunity to make a difference in these girls lives because thing are back out there, too many young children are turning to drugs and alcohol, so I always lecture these girls to stay in sports. Luckily for me I have known most of the team for some years now so coaching them is has become a pleasure.

NM: How is football for women in the Eastern Cape?

GD: I really believe that back my day the intensity was higher. There were years when women did not care about football but the passion is coming back with this generation. Women over the years were concerned with other things but they are slowly coming back to the football lifestyle, the resources are getting better and we are producing some quality players so hopefully things will get better.

NM: Lastly over the past couple of months there have been calls to have a professional league for women, what is your take on this?

GD: I believe that we should have a professional league, I mean there are thousands if not millions of women how are passionate about football, there are thousands of women who have coaching licenses/ degrees and we need jobs too. The Sasol league is doing a great job but what next, players win their provincial leagues then go to the national championships then what. We need a professional league to enhance the game, create employment and ensure that SAFA’s Vision 2022 meets its objectives.

NM: Coach, thank you for speaking to us and I wish you all the best in your quest to become a great coach.

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Thanks !

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