19 July 2019 – Sitting comfortably in second position in the KwaZulu-Natal edition of the increasingly popular Sasol Women’s League, DUT Midlands have already exceeded expectations and are hoping to build on their strong foundation in the coming weeks.
With nine victories from 12 games and a healthy goal difference of +23, the Msunduzi LFA club who hail from the uMgungundlovu region, have leaders Sunflower WFCin their sights.
Safa.net spoke to team manager, Mr Mike Mbatha, who divulged the team’s inner workings and also implored the public to start taking the women’s game more seriously.
Mbatha decided to first talk about the challenges faced in the lead up to the current season.
“It is rather difficult in women’s football as you have a smaller pool of players to work with than men. Also, we take time to develop players and then they leave for greener pastures. However, we now have very young kids. We have a three year plan for them and they can bloom into future Banyana Banyana stars. They lack experience but are talented. We are slowly coming right,” he said.
When asked what the team’s secret to success is, Mbatha put it down to a few simple things.
“We pride ourselves on being a super-fit team. We train hard and we work hard and that will never let one down. Other teams do not take this aspect seriously but we believe that this is the difference maker. There are teams better than us but when it comes down to the final ten minutes of a game, our fitness takes us home,” enthused Mbatha.
The impressive manager also stated that it is his intention to simply build this term and end strong, go for the title next year and then play in the national league the season after that.
However, the man with a plan laments the lack of exposure and support for women’s football form the public in general.
“I am appealing to the public to support and back the ladies game. The parents of players and their families need to come to all the games, particularly at Indumiso Sports Fields at the campus. The community needs to come together. There needs to be a significant change in mind-set. There are short-term and long-term benefits, especially financially and sponsors will take notice. It will also lift standards and the national league will also be at an advantage. The women’s world cup proved how serious this whole thing can be,” concluded Mbatha.
With passionate personnel such as Mbatha in the women’s ranks, the game is bound to grow in leaps and bounds, let alone his own team.
The team will take on high-flying third-placed team Lindelani Ladies at John Doris Stadium this Sunday (21st July), at 13h00.