Banyana rely on Mbuli’s to get tal­ent

But as­sis­tant coach not im­pressed with qual­ity of play­ers

Sowetan - - Dipapadi - By Sihle Nde­bele In Kim­ber­ley

With Banyana Banyana coach De­siree El­lis in France for to­mor­row’s Fifa Women’s World Cup draw, her as­sis­tant Thi­na­sonke Mbuli is as­signed to scout for new tal­ent at the on­go­ing Sa­sol League Na­tional Cham­pi­onships at Galeshewe Sta­dium.

Speak­ing to Sowe­tan yesterday, Mbuli was not im­pressed with the qual­ity level at the tour­na­ment so far. She didn’t hide her feel­ings, say­ing she had not seen any no­table new per­former, ex­cept for the al­ready es­tab­lished na­tional team play­ers.

“Eish... it’s tough my brother. The gap be­tween the Sa­sol League and the na­tional team is very big. This is the best from prov­inces but when you strug­gle to select play­ers, it shows that there’s a prob­lem,” said Mbuli.

“I can­not say there’s any­thing spe­cial I saw dur­ing the course of the week... I would be ly­ing, it’s only play­ers that we know from Banyana [who are per­form­ing].”

Across all nine clubs rep­re­sent­ing all the prov­inces, Dur­ban Ladies’ Ntomb­i­futhi Khu­malo is the only woman men­tor at the tour­na­ment. Mbuli has ex­plained why it's dif­fi­cult for fe­male coaches to get a chance.

“Some of the coaches are coach­ing be­cause it’s their clubs, they’re owners. They do it all by them­selves... they are the coaches, man­agers and ev­ery­thing. There are a lot of qual­i­fied women coaches,” stated the Banyana deputy coach.

“The first group [of women coaches] that did CAF A Li­cence, I think we were 28, some of them are coach­ing in schools. It's the mat­ter of trust­ing them. Maybe when the pro­fes­sional league is launched next year, this will im­prove.”

Banyana booked their maiden World Cup ticket by fin­ish­ing as run­ners-up in the Africa Women's Cup of Nations, con­cluded in Ghana last week. The draw will be con­ducted in the host coun­try France to­mor­row.

“We are hop­ing for a fair draw, that's all we can ask for be­cause it's our first time go­ing there. Ob­vi­ously we can't go there with big hopes but then, we want to do well progress past group stages,” noted Mbuli.

Mean­while, Tsh­wane Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy booked their spot in the Sa­sol League Na­tional Champs semi­fi­nals af­ter beat­ing Golden Ladies 21 yesterday.

/SYD­NEY MAHLANGU/BACK­PAGEPIX

Banyana as­sis­tant coach Thi­na­sonke Mbuli, (left) is with head coach De­siree El­lis as they kept their eyes firmly on the team’s re­cent train­ing.

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