PALACE Super Falcons midfielder Mamello Makhabane conceded yesterday that it will be very difficult for them to successfully defend their Sasol League national championships title this week.
The third edition of the tournament kicks off today at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Bloemfontein and ends on Sunday.
Falcons defeated Detroit Ladies in last year’s final at Seshego Stadium in Limpopo. The Gauteng-based Falcons will start their title defence against hosts Bloemfontein Celtic today at 2pm.
“As a team we did really well to outplay Detroit Ladies in last year’s edition, but it is one thing winning the title and another retaining it,” said Makhabane, the Banyana Banyana midfielder.
“We back ourselves all the way but we know it is going to be twice as tough as last year since all the teams will be coming at us twice as hard in an effort to break us down.”
Apart from Makhabane, Falcons coach Jabu Mabasa has two more Banyana players in his squad.
The players are tough- tackling defender Janine “Booth” van Wyk and speedy striker Martha “Gautrain” Makoma.
Mabasa said: “It has been a tough season in the Gauteng league in which we were under pressure from Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, but we managed to win the provincial title and the right to play in the national event.
“We are ready for Celtic and are well aware that the crowd will be totally behind them. We have the quality to win on Monday and indeed the whole week.”
Northern Cape’s Royal Wizard Ladies will lock horns with Hallelujah Zebra Force of North West in the opening match of the tournament at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium today at 11am.
Falcoms, Celtic, Zebra Force, Royal Wizard and Brazilians from Limpopo are in Group A.
Group B comprises Detroit Ladies from Mpumalanga (the winners of the inaugural competition two years ago), KwaZulu-Natal’s Durban Ladies, Cape Town Roses from Western Cape and Coastal United from Eastern Cape. Teams in Group B will start their campaign tomorrow.
Noko Matlou Eager To Inspire Team
BANYANA Banyana's top goalscorer, Noko "Beep Beep " Matlou, is confident her international experience will help Brazilian Ladies to defeat Royal Wizard in their opening match of the Sasol League National Championships today.The match will be played at Mangaung Outdoor Sports Centre, Field B, at 9am.
The two clubs are making their debuts in the third edition of the tournament.
Matlou said they would not be fooled by Wizard's 4-0 defeat to Hallelujah Zebra Force in their opening match yesterday.
"We will approach the match with caution because Wizard will want to redeem their tarnished image at our expense. I am also aware that most of the attention will be on me as I will be the only Banyana player in the match.
"I am ready to absorb any form of pressure that may come my way. I believe that my experience will inspire my teammates to win tomorrow's match and the tournament," Matlou said yesterday.
Mangaung: Field A: Palace Super Falcons vs Zebra Force, Durban Ladies vs Cape Town Roses, Zebra Force vs Bloemfontein Celtic . Field B: Wizard vs Brazilians, Coastal United vs Detroit Ladies and Brazilians vs Super Falcons.
Banyana Banyana Makes changes In COSAFA Team
Mkhonza's team selection was made easier after his team beat Botswana 4-0 in an All-Africa Games qualifier in Gaborone last month.
The victory ensured South Africa qualified for the All-Africa Games to be held in Maputo, Mozambique in September.
Striker Zanele Sukazi has been in good form for the University of Johannesburg in the Gauteng Sasol League and has received a call-up to the national team, while former South Africa Under-17 team captain, midfielder Rachel Sebati returns to the squad having made her senior international debut against Botswana in Polokwane recently.
"The Cosafa Championships is the perfect platform for our players to prove that Banyana Banyana is the number one side in Southern Africa as we prepare to face Ethiopia in the do or die Olympic qualifiers," said Mkhonza.
The winner on aggregate after the home and away fixtures between Banyana and Ethiopia will qualify to be one of two African countries to compete at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Thokozile Mndaweni, Andile Dlamini, Mamello Makhabane, Simphiwe Masina, Yola Jafta, Janine van Wyk, Gabisile Hlumbane, Zamandosi Cele, Amanda Sister, Amanda Dlamini, Nothando Vilakazi, Mary Ntsweng, Zanele Sukazi, Jermaine Seopesenwe, Noko Matlou, Rachel Sebati, Robyn Moodaly, Nomathemba Ntsibande.
Banyana Banyana striker Martha Mokoma scored the only goal of a thrilling encounter against hosts Bloemfontein Celtic, to put Palace Super Falcons on the victory trail in defence of their coveted national title, at the Sasol League National Championships in Mangaung, Bloemfontein today. The first half strike by Mokoma, nicknamed ‘Gautrain’ because of her pace, set the Rabie Ridge-based side off on the right footing at the week-long premier tournament on the women’s football calendar.
“We knew it was always going to be tough coming back to defend our Sasol League National Championship title as the other eight provincial winners will come twice as hard as us after our title success last year in Polokwane,” said Palace Super Falcons coach Jabu Mabaso afterwards.
“But we are ready for the challenge and playing quite a few games in a short space of time in the closing stages of the Gauteng Sasol League has worked in our favour in getting our players in top condition for this tournament where the level of play is at its highest in South African women’s football circles.”
Earlier in the day in another Group A fixture, North West provincial champions Hallelujah Zebra Force ensured a high scoring start to their campaign, with a resounding 4-0 triumph over Northern Cape representatives Royal Wizard Ladies.
Two goals from Ngakane Ketlareng and a goal each from Audrey Moswela and Keletso Mpya got the Sasol League National Championship regulars off to a solid start.
Women Super League to Kickoff
According to Jacqui Shipanga of the NFA Women Desk, the six teams will be involved in five rounds of football to ensure more action in the league which will end on 9 June 2012.
“We will play a game for full 90 minutes unlike in the past where we played 80 minutes only to also increase fitness levels of the girls” Shipanga explained.
The participating teams are: Okahandja Beauties - who won the last Women National Championships played in 2009, Rehoboth Queens, NDF Cheetahs, JS Academy, Unam Bokkies and Poly Babes.
These teams were members of the Khomas Women league and according to Shipanga a decision was made to elevate them to a Super league.
“We will only have these teams in the Super League for now due to the standard of play and players they have and also the issue of traveling which could not be sustained if we include all regions.
“The other regional leagues will continue to play and the idea now for Khomas is to lobby the schools to take up the Khomas women league and the have promotional playoff to the super league in the future”.
The Super League came about some meticulous planning and considerations of relevant factors.
“We are very excited that NFA leadership, especially the SG , who was very much supportive towards launching this league as most of the players in the junior national teams will be exposed to competitive games at an earlier stage”.
She added that the Super League no coach without NFA Coaching qualifications, minimum D license for the inaugural season will be allowed to trade, while the stakes will be higher in the second season.
Women Super league team managers are also urged to attend Administration and Management courses offered by the NFA.
The NFA women desk has also considered possible Cup Competitions, with 28 October 2011 reserved for the national Under-20 Championships and the NFA women National Championships scheduled for 1 June 2012.
Regions that have senior league are: Caprivi, Omusati, Kavango, Kunene, Karas, while towns such as Okahandja and Gobabis, amongst others have the Gals & Goals leagues for younger players.
Kenya Women Football, Now We Have Harambee Starlets
These talented Kenyan sisters have been taken for a ride for a perfect good time, Today; someone realized its time Kenyan footballing ladies get the same level of consideration that their male counterparts receive.
|Extreme Sports Management CEO Hussein Mohammed|
The ranking is published four times each year. According to FIFA’s Big Count survey in 2006, 26 million women and girls around the world currently play football.
Back home, until yesterday when Extreme Sports Management CEO and FKL chairmanship aspirant Hussein Mohammed launched the super 8 women’s tourney, there has been little activity to promote women football.
Kenya Football Federation has no Women Football activity going on or in the pipeline, this has led to poor ranking by Football Governing body FIFA ranked a miserable Position 153 out of 160.
During the launch of what now becomes the 1st edition of the Super 8 women tournament at a Nairobi hotel, Kenyan ladies can now have a reason to smile.
“Ladies action will be experienced in Nairobi constituencies and will act as a pilot project whose outcome will dictate the introduction of a national women’s soccer league in the country in future” said Hussein Mohammed during the launch.
“We are trying to seek ways to speed up the development of women soccer in the country” he said
First kick off takes place on July 26 at various venues in Nairobi, it is hoped that 64 teams (8 from each constituency) will participate in a month long tourney. The finals will are expected to be staged in July.
the 1st edition is set to cost approximately Kshs 1.3 million with Kshs 15,000 going to the winning team at constituency level while the runner up taking Kshs 10,000 and the third position taking Kshs 5,000.
Winner at the super 8 stage will take home Kshs 20,000, runner up Kshs 15,000 and Third place Kshs 10,000
The top scorer of the tournament will also receive a total of Kshs 15,000 and the golden boot award of the 1st edition of the women’s super 8 tournament.
Mohammed said time has come for all stakeholders in the sports fraternity and especially foot ball to recognize the national women team, Harambee Starlets.
by Ngigi Kamau