8 August 2017 The journey of unearthing the next generation of South African women footballers continued this past weekend in Bloemfontein where a number of young female footballers were identified by the SAFA Women’s Technical Team.

Talent was identified for the SAFA High Performance Centre, the South African U-17 Girls National Team (Bantwana) and the South African U-20 Girls National Team (Basetsana).

A total of 140 players assembled at the Manguang Outdoor Centre to raise their hands up for a place in the team. Acting U17 girls national team coach Simphiwe Dludlu alongside Maud Khumalo and Banyana Banyana Goalkeeper Coach Cameron Cox were among the talent identifiers present at the venue.

Local scout Martha Malaku was also present to assist in talent identification.

“We had a great weekend in Bloemfontein and the turnout was wonderful. There were many girls from academies and the schools, which shows that there is development in our regions.

It is important to mention that although we did find talent, these young girls do not play any competitive football; therefore we have to instil a mentality of competitiveness in them;” said Dludlu.

National team selections will now move to Mpumalanga this coming weekend, at the Themba Sinamela Stadium in Mhluzi, Middelburg.  Young girls wishing to join the trails are welcome to attend on 12 and 13 August 2017.

Registration will commence at 08h30 sharp, while U-13 trails will begin at 09h00, followed by U17 and U20 at 11h00.

SAFA’s assistant Technical Director, Fran Hilton-Smith emphasized the importance of this exercise, saying that it will benefit the U20 Women’s national team ahead of their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Namibia next month.

“The u20 Women’s National team will be active against Namibia in September for their first World Cup qualifier and we need to have sourced the best talent from all nine provinces, which the coaches are trying to do’ said  Hilton-Smith.