Danny cheers on Team EC
South African Football Assocation’s (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan cut his stay at the ANC National General Council in Gauteng short to celebrate with 375 Eastern Cape graduates of the SAFA Development Programme at the 1820 Settlers monument on Saturday.
The ceremony, sponsored by PPC cement, saw football aficionadas from across the Eastern Cape receive certificates in Level 5 refereeing, administration and D licence coaching.
Danny Jordaan said it was critical for SAFA to implement this kind of programme.
Jordaan called the graduation ceremony an important occasion and one of the elements of the 2022 vision.
He said the Eastern Cape is yet to get off the mark as part of the 2022 vision.
He says this programme is aimed at strengthening grassroots coaching and increasing the number of referees and administrators.
“We have to address these problems, infrastructure, training, upskilling those who are already referees and coaches and also looking at facilities and resources.
“We have to get more into organised structures and we have to make sure whoever plays football in the LFA or region actually forms part of a structured and organised formation of football,” he said.
SAFA Development Agency CEO Robin Peterson acknowl- edged PPC cement for taking Vision 2022 and making it a reality for the Eastern Cape.
He said it was important to build a strong foundation locally to achieve the desired goal.
He said funding has been a major obstacle for the development of football and even harder at LFA level.
“Traditionally sponsors don’t sponsor development but prefer finished products because they want visibility.
“We need sponsors that will be able to recognise these structures. If we don’t build in these foundations we won’t achieve our goal.
“I want to congratulate all of you on your success. SAFA is prepared to bring these life skills programmes to our youth,” said Peterson.
Grahamstown local football also had a strong representation at the graduation ceremony.
Four referees were awarded with level five refereeing certificates while two female representatives, Nosiphosethu Dingiswayo and Sbusiso Mantawule, were awarded their coaching D licences.
After receiving her coaching certificate Nosiphosethu Dingiswayo said her wish was to make Makana women's soccer a recognisable force in the near future.
She said she wanted to introduce more women to soccer and wished more schools would offer female football.
African Connection player Sbusiso Mantawule said she was very excited to receive her coaching licence and would like to play a role as a soccer coach when she’s had enough as a player.
PPC cement signed an agreement with the SAFA development agency two years ago to assist with achieving the SAFA vision 2022 football development plan with its support directed to implementation in the Eastern Cape.
Danny Jordaan made a strong point that the Eastern Cape still had a long way to go with its development structures.
“Eastern Cape still needs to work very hard in producing talent, especially to the national team.
“We need to develop this province further. Every region should be presented in Eastern Cape development structures.
“We need to have players at Under-13, 15 and 17. Currently we only have two players from the Eastern Cape in the Under-17 and they come from one region, and that is not acceptable,” said Jordaan.
Graduates of the programme will now be left with the responsibility of implementing skills learnt to develop the beautiful game starting in their regions.