SAFA News – The Sasol League virtual roadshows are proving to be popular, with participants saying there should be more held countrywide, and regularly.
This past weekend, Banyana Banyana Head Coach Desiree Ellis was in the KwaZulu Natal Province to conduct a workshop with local Sasol League coaches – which also proved to be a success, and following hot on the heels of the one held in Bloemfontein, Free State two weekends ago.
Ellis had a chance to talk to the coaches about their players, their plans and preparations to take their game to a higher level.
Some of the topics covered included player performance, technical and tactical strategies, as well as activities linked to a Banyana Banyana camp.
“We have always maintained that national team coaches can’t do it all on their own – this is like a food chain, if you miss a step, the final product will not be what you expect. The local Sasol League coaches are the ones who are at the beginning of the chain and their input is very valuable. It is equally important to inform our local coaches what is expected in order for them to prepare the players in such a way that when they get to us they are almost ready,” says Ellis.
“But it is not a situation of us just giving out instructions, we also have to listen and try to understand their challenges – and we know there are many. But it’s these kinds of engagements that help us find common ground and we are happy with what transpires here.”
Ellis also gets an opportunity to watch two matches over the weekend – and is then able to discuss technical and tactical matters with the various coaches.
This week she got to witness Lindelani Ladies FC defeat Westville United 2-1 in Stream A, before Sunflower dished out a polished performance to beat White City 4-1 in an exciting match at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu.
“Sitting in the stands gives me a better view because scouting players needs a holistic approach – what do they do off the ball, when the team attacks, when the team defends – because watching on TV has some limitations. In addition, after the match, you are able to immediately discuss some aspects of the game with the coaches and the players – when everything is still fresh in the mind,” adds Ellis.
For Sasol, this was another mission accomplished.
“I believe we have achieved our mandate in KwaZulu Natal the past weekend by supporting the Sasol League as part of the conveyor belt function for women’s football. Our mission was two-pronged: we needed to engage with the Sasol League coaches to prepare them and the players in terms of what the technical team of Banyana Banyana requires. Secondly, after a long break due to Covid-19, it was important to live stream the games with the aim to maintain the affinity between women’s football in KwaZulu Natal and its supporters. Those two points are very important to us as a sponsor and we managed to get that done with the support of other role players in the women’s football chain,” says Dean Somerset of Sasol.
“What is also pleasing is that everybody has women’s football at heart and top of their mind. We must thank eThekwini Municipality for a field that was in superb condition and SAFA KZN for hosting us. The interest and quality of football that was showcased confirmed how the game has developed over the years and that it is being taken seriously,” concludes Somerset.
The next destination for Ellis and the Sasol League provincial roadshow team is Gqeberha, Eastern Cape Province.
The Sasol League coaches’ workshop will take place on Friday (4 June 2021), with two matches scheduled for Saturday (5 June 2021) – at 10h30, Volcano Ladies will be up against Golden Stars Ladies, followed by the clash between City Lads against Sophakama at 13h30.
Due to strict Covid-19 restrictions, the gathering is limited to a small number of participants, and access to the venue is by invitation only.
Both events will take place at the Wolfson Stadium in KwaZakhele – and will also be live-streamed on the Sasol League and SAFA Facebook pages.