28 August 2019 – Having cruised to the title in the Northern Cape edition of the Sasol League, the impressive Richmond Ladies were in for a baptism of fire in the inaugural SAFA National Women’s League (SNWL) this past weekend.
The team were humbled 7-0 by the indomitable Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.
However, the team will not go down lightly and aim to bounce back even stronger in the next round of matches. SAFA.net spoke to club owner Mr Amichad Amsterdam, who reiterated this comment and provided an interesting insight into his team, the new league as well as other pertinent issues surrounding the women’s game.
Hailing from the large Pixley Ka Seme region under the Emthanjeni Local Football Association (LFA), the club boss stated how thrilled they were with being crowned champions but even more so that the national league actually came to pass.
“We were truly excited and more than thrilled at winning our provincial title. If you think about it our town has roughly 10 000 people. For such a small team to achieve that was great, especially as most of our girls come from poverty. I had to look for players around the North West in order to compete in the national league. We weren’t convinced that the league would actually take off but SAFA came through and here it is,” he said.
Commenting on the team’s first ever game in the league against Sundowns, Amsterdam was honest in his assessment.
“Look, it was a big learning curve for us. A team like Downs have ample resources so there is no shame in losing that way. Our team come from humble beginnings and practice on gravel. Suddenly playing on artificial turf can be a huge step up. The girls were nervous playing against such a big team and also being on TV but we will not use this as an excuse and will keep pushing on,” said Amsterdam.
The owner, who makes a living as a traffic officer, also stated that his aim is to simply not finish. He plans on building a second team which will serve as a feeder unit to develop talent. He stressed that there are still challenges but the league has just begun and there is time to beef up the squad. He is excited about the potential the league has though.
“It is fantastic for the growth of our young girls. It is going to help Bantwana, Basetsana and Banyana with new talent and become stronger. In our next few games I am sure the scouts and selectors are going to take notice of my players, particularly the likes of attacking midfielder Noxolo Gcina,” added Amsterdam.
In conclusion, the club owner had a quick message for the loyal supports of the club.
“Please stick with us and continue to back us. We will try our best not to disappoint. We even have an Astro-Turf pitch being prepared for us near De Aar. Things are happening,” concluded Amsterdam.
With a positive attitude and a committed bunch of players at their disposal, Richmond will be one of the underdogs to take note of in the coming weeks.
They next tackle Limpopo’s First Touch Academy on Sunday, September 8th in the Western Cape (UWC) at 12h30.