The prospect of a professional women’s football league comes with a lot of promises, among those, is having a more competitive Banyana Banyana on the world stage. In this proposed professional league which SAFA intend to launch in 2019, all nine provincial Sasol League champions would have spots in the 16 team league with PSL and university teams accounting for the balance. However concerns have come up about school going players who play in some of the top teams in the Sasol League. Former Kanatla Ladies coach, Mkuseli Godlwana believes that these school girls would struggle to balance their academics and playing in a professional national league.
But Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala has a solution suggesting that the league should be modelled on the success of the Multichoice Diski Challenge to eliminate any issues for the school going players. He seems to disagree with Godlwana’s point about the lack of proper research arguing that school girls would be able to play in a festival style league because all the matches would take place on weekends. Tshabalala says the league is long overdue, things like school and other issues can be worked around.
“I don’t think SAFA would have spoken about the league had they not done proper research on how it would be run. SAFA hasn’t told us on what their plans are yet, we can’t be speculating on how it would go,” he said.
University of Tshwane women’s coach, Tebogo Mokae seems concerned about the lack of development for female players. He says the league won’t be sustainable if there is no plan about the development of players because a professional league requires a conveyor belt of up and coming players.
“For every team that plays in the professional league will need to have a strong team that plays in the Sasol League so that they will be able to promote the players and still develop the team by playing in a competitive league,” he says.