The South African Football Association’s (SAFA) popular Sasol Women’s League, like most other leagues, has sadly had to be put on the back-burner due to COVID-19.
The Western Cape edition always produces some of the most iconic teams within the country, none more so than the feared Vasco da Gama outfit.
Formed in the early 80s, the club have built up a strong reputation and pedigree, with both the men’s and women’s teams enjoying a great deal of success.
Playing under the Tygerberg LFA (Local Football Association) in Cape Town, the team were the reigning champions last season and were targeting the national league. Alas it was not meant to be and the club will have to wait even longer in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.
SAFA.net once again had the good fortune of chatting with team manager and Executive Committee member Mr Eddie Ribeiro, who offered his take on the frustrating lack of action and his hopes for next season.
The former player stated just how challenging it was.
“Unfortunately there was no football at all. That was the worst part, especially for the players who were pumped up for the season. As administrators, it has been a bit of a break as well, particularly in terms of registration and logistics but the maintenance work of facilities has still been ongoing,” he said.
He also stressed that the club’s management team prioritizes safety as well.
“At our club house there are sanitizers and we also ensure the social distancing rule at our restaurant and bar facility.”
The EXCO member did reiterate that even during the hard lockdown period, his players have indeed been keeping fit and active from home and at their own leisure. The coaching team have devised a full-proof schedule of training exercises and fitness programs. He also stated how tough it has been having not seen or interacted with any players for the past six months.
On expectations and plans for the future, Ribeiro foresees a bleak ending to the year but is hopeful for 2021.
“Look, it seems that in all likelihood this year will inevitably be declared null and void. So all we can do is look forward to next year and plan accordingly with a pre-season in January. We still have big ambitions and the national league is a priority. Let’s all just pray that next year is much better,” concluded Ribeiro.
With star players such as Dani Clayford and the young Tiyana Carollissen still on the books, the future does look bright.