Safa tour­ing SA for tal­ent

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

THE JOUR­NEY of un­earthing the next gen­er­a­tion of South African women foot­ballers con­tin­ued this past weekend in Bloem­fontein where a num­ber of young fe­male foot­ballers were iden­ti­fied by the Safa women’s tech­ni­cal team.

Tal­ent was iden­ti­fied for the Safa High Per­for­mance Centre, the South African Un­der-17 girls na­tional team (Bant­wana) and the South African Un­der-20 women’s na­tional team (Baset­sana).

A to­tal of 140 play­ers as­sem­bled at the Man­guang Out­door Centre to raise their hands for a place in the team.

Act­ing Un­der-17 girls na­tional team coach Sim­phiwe Dludlu, along­side Maud Khu­malo and Banyana Banyana Goal­keeper Coach Cameron Cox, were among the tal­ent-iden­ti­fiers present at the venue.

Lo­cal scout Martha Malaku was also present to as­sist in tal­ent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“We had a great weekend in Bloem­fontein and the turnout was won­der­ful. There were many girls from acad­e­mies and the schools, which shows that there is de­vel­op­ment in our re­gions,” said Dludlu.

“It is im­por­tant to men­tion that al­though we did find tal­ent, these young girls do not play any com­pet­i­tive foot­ball; there­fore we have to in­stil a men­tal­ity of com­pet­i­tive­ness in them.”

Na­tional team se­lec­tions will now move to Mpumalanga this com­ing weekend, at the Themba Si­namela Sta­dium in Mh­luzi, Mid­del­burg. Young girls wish­ing to join the trails are welcome to at­tend to­day and to­mor­row.

Reg­is­tra­tion will com­mence at 8.30am, while Un­der-13 trails will be­gin at 9am, fol­lowed by Un­der-17 and Un­der-20 at 11am.

Safa’s as­sis­tant Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor, Fran Hil­ton-Smith em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of this ex­er­cise, say­ing that it will ben­e­fit the Un­der-20 Women’s na­tional team ahead of their Fifa World Cup qual­i­fier against Namibia next month.

“The Un­der-20 Women’s Na­tional team will be ac­tive against Namibia next month for their first World Cup qual­i­fier and we need to have sourced the best tal­ent from all nine prov­inces, which the coaches are try­ing to do,” said Hil­tonSmith. – ANA

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