4 April 2017 – Interim Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis says the future of women’s football is brighter than ever.
Ellis was speaking after attending the Women Tertiary Games that took place at North End Stadium in East London over the past weekend (1-2 April 2017).
The tournament brought together eight teams from tertiary institutions in the Eastern Cape which were then divided into two groups of four each.
Walter Sisulu University (WSU), EC Saps Academy, Buffalo City College A (BCC) and EC Midlands College were in Group A, while Group B consisted of Port Elizabeth College, Seagulls, Buffalo City College B and University of Fort Hare Alice (UFH)-Alice.
WSU, UFH-Alice, PE College and EC Midlands College made it to the semi-finals.
WSU were crowned champions after defeating PE College 2-0 in the final, while EC Midlands won bronze following their victory over UFH-Alice.
“It’s at tournaments like these where we find the gems and an opportunity to have a look at more players because, if you think about it, at the Sasol League National Championship we only to get to see nine out of 144 clubs from the league. Visits to such tournaments or to far flung areas will help us find more players for the national teams, to add to the core that we already have,” said Ellis.
“Another good thing is that many of these players also play for clubs in the Sasol League, so we are able to see them in a different environment and check how they are coping when dealing with different players. That way you can already tell whether a player is good enough or not, and that helps a lot when it comes to selecting players for the national teams.
“We saw some promising players that could be invited to the national teams and I must admit that based on that, the future of women’s football looks bright.”
The Player of the Tournament Award went to Philisa Mjambane from WSU. She also walked away with the Top Goal Scorer accolade after scoring seven goals.
Amanda Nteyi from PE College was chosen as the Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
“Credit must go to Bonolo Mokoatle who organised the entire event, thus giving us an opportunity to come and see a pool of players. We are optimistic that we will be able to go to more tournaments like these or even visit other regions so that we are able to have a look at players around the country to make sure the best players are not left out of our national teams set up,” added Ellis.
Mokoatle is a football administrator in the Eastern Cape and was one of the participants of the women’s FIFA Administrators course held in Johannesburg last year.
A few of the players that played over weekend will also be going to the Selection Trials for USSA (University Sport South Africa) to prepare for the World Student Game which will take place in August in Taipei, China.
The trials are scheduled for 28 April – 2 May in Secunda, Mpumalanga.
Thinasonke Mbuli is the USSA Women’s coach.