21 June 2019 – Boitumelo Potsane, founder and coach of Kathorus United is an avid football lover who’s passion for the game started as a young boy growing up in the dusty streets of Katlehong, East of Johannesburg. The club owner, popularly known in football circles as “Fish” also has a passion and talent for commentary and is well known across Gauteng township tournaments.
Potsane, took time out of his busy schedule to take too safa.net about his love for football and how he went about founding Khathorus United who are currently leading the SAFA Ekurhuleni Regional League.
SAFA.net: What prompted you to start a woman’s football club?
Boitumelo Potsane: There was a point in time when ladies football was dying in the Kathorus (Katlehong, Thokoza &Vosloorus) region after we had teams like Silver Spears and Katlehong Eagles which played in the Gauteng Sasol League got relegated. I then had a desire to revive women’s football after I organising a ladies tournament (Ladies Mantombazane Challenge) where I saw that ladies were still interested in playing football and that’s when the desire to form a team began. Besides, football has always been my passion and in my blood.
SAFA.net: How long have you had the club?
The team is now two-years-old and I can proudly say that we didn’t fare badly in our first season of existence in the SAFA Ekhuruleni Regional League. I can say we learnt a lot and now have the experience to be competing and challenging for the league.
SAFA.net: What challenges do you have in running an amateur women’s club?
It’s extremely difficult running a soccer team without a sponsor and having to do everything from your own pocket. The team does a lot of travelling around Ekurhuleni and every week its financially straining to be paying transportation costs.
Secondly the safety of the girls is important. After training, I need to make sure that the girls (ages between 13-30) are home safe as they stay around Katlehong, Thokoza and Vosloorus.
Thirdly the team is need of training equipment, which makes it difficult to conduct a training session with the limited resources.
Also, some of the girls come from poor family backgrounds and can’t afford boots and Its just sad to see a girl with potential/talent having to sit outside or start off the bench as she has to borrow boots so that she can play.
Lastly some of our girls can’t balance their school work and education, so as a team we need to support to the girls and get them tutors who may be able to assist the girls with the subject they struggle with.
Safa.net: What are your objectives for this club?
My first priority is getting the team to win the league and playoffs and get to play in the Sasol League then in the long run qualify to play in the upcoming National Women’s League. I am also looking to transform the team to be more of an academy where we can start having under 9, 11, 13 and 15 teams and start developing players from a young age. I would be more than happy if some of the players would play for national teams but most importantly to go overseas and play in top international leagues.
I believe that we need to start exporting more players so that they can play at the highest level which would be good for our national teams
Safa.net: How important is women’s football development at a young age?
As much as players don’t develop at the same pace, it’s important we start moulding and shaping players at an early age. We need to prioritise teaching the girls the basics, improving their foot work, ball control, technique, decision making and fundamental aspects of the game from as early as the ages of 6-12. By doing so it will fast track player development as they move into the next phase of their careers.