Born in Pimville, Soweto, Monyepao is a former Banyana Banyana player and has an impressive CV in sports administration. She has a Masters in Sport Management Degree from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom and worked on the 2010 FIFA World Cup, first in a financial role for Ernest and Young and after completing her Masters degree returning to take up the position of Organising Committee head of Marketing for Soccer City stadium.
A finalist for South African Woman of the Year, she also worked as the team liaison officer for Banyana Banyana during the 7th CAF Women’s championships.
During her playing days, she was a devastating midfielder for both the South African Student team and the senior national side.
“As a former player, I am very honoured about this appointment and I hope to add value to this squad which I believe will do the nation proud at the London Olympics,” said Monyepao.
SAFA CEO, Dr Robin Petersen was excited at having Monyepao within the Banyana Banyana ranks.
“We want the players to concentrate on playing and nothing else. Lydia is highly qualified for the job; having been there and seen it all we could not have a better person. She brings along a wealth of experience in the team both from the technical and administrative point of view,” said Dr Petersen.
In another development in the Banyana Banyana fold, SAFA has enlisted the services of the South African Under 23 National Team coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba as coach Joseph Mkhonza’s technical advisor. Having been to the Olympics and coached Banyana Banyana before, Mashaba’s experience will be invaluable for the squad.
The Association has also beefed up the medical team for Banyana by adding a biokineticist, a masseur, and will also enlist the services of Bafana Bafana physical trainer, Francisco Gonzalez.
Furthermore, Banyana Banyana will receive full support from the technical team at Amisco who will provide statistical and video analysis for the coaching staff.
Meanwhile, all players who helped the team qualify for the London Olympics have received their bonuses from sponsors Sasol. The bonuses were deposited into the players’ accounts this week.
Zanele Khanyile, who was in the Banyana Banyana team management, has now been reassigned to give administrative support to all national teams and will report directly to Head of Department: National Teams, Lindile ‘Ace’ Kika.
Also,the South African Football Association (SAFA) has roped in former Banyana Banyana goalkeeper, Delisile Mbatha as a goalkeeper coach for the South African Under 17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana).
Delisile has 32 caps under her name after representing the South African Senior Women’s National Team from 2000 to 2004. She coached teams in the ABSA play-offs and the SA Games held last year.
Mbatha’s appointment as goalkeeper coach for the U17 Women’s National team is part of SAFA’s vision to empower former Women National Team players with coaching knowledge so they can impart it to the younger generation.
“The Association is pushing ahead with its plans to see more former women’s national team players in the coaching field and we would like to ensure that the general support staff in the women’s national teams is women. This is part of SAFA’s vision to empower former women national team players. We are hoping that by the Senior Women’s World Cup tournament of 2015, the whole technical team will be women, and South Africa could be trendsetters in world football,“ says SAFA’s Assistant Technical Director: Women’s Football, Fran Hilton-Smith.
Mbatha, who already has a SAFA Coaching certificate, will attend the FIFA goalkeepers’ course in February.
Other former women national team players who have taken up coaching are head coach of the South African Under 20 Women’s Nations Team Sheryl Botes as well Anna Monate, who is the assistant coach of the South African Under 17 Women’s National Team.